Eugenio Batista

Batista, Eugenio

Eugenio Batista González de Mendoza (December 24, 1900, Havana – February 14, 1992, Miami FL) graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Havana in 1924, and began working for Morales & Co., the leading firm in Cuba.[1] In 1927, he moved to New York to work as a draftsman at the architecture firm of Walker and Gillette, taking summer and evening classes at Columbia University. From 1928-30 he studied at Princeton University graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Architecture. From 1933-39, he worked at Princeton as a professor of architecture before returning to Cuba to practice full time, first in partnership with his brother Ernesto and then with his cousin Adolfo Arellano. His work in Cuba included several residences, the open-air amphitheater at the Avenida del Puerto in Havana (1935), in collaboration with the Cuban architect Aquiles de la Maza, the renovation of Havana’s Teatro Payret, and his most celebrated work, the House of Eutimio Falla Bonet in Miramar (1939-40). He was a professor and the “de facto” Dean of the school of architecture at Havana’s St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic University in the 1950s. After the Revolution, he worked as a professor of design at various schools including the University of Oregon (1962-71), where he built a house for his family, and the University of Puerto Rico (1969). In 1974 he was given a Fulbright scholarship to teach architecture at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá, Colombia. He continued to consult on architectural matters, often in the preservation of Catholic churches throughout the US, and in 1981 he wrote a book on church architecture and the history of the Catholic liturgy titled El culto cristiano: ¿ceremonia o dedicación? (Christian Worship: Ceremony or Dedication?), with an English translation appearing in 1988.

[1] Eduardo Luis Rodríguez, La Habana, arquitectura del siglo XX (Barcelona: Blume, 1998), 240-45; Sambricio, “Notas bio-bibliográficas 50-51; Gómez Díaz, De Forestier a Sert, 230-35; Heriberto Duverger, “Eugenio Batista,” in Diccionario Akal de la arquitectura del siglo XX. Edited by Jean-Paul Midant, Juan Calatrava Escobar, and José L. López Jiménez. Madrid: Akal, 2004, p. 96; Los propietarios de Cuba 1958, pp. 63-64; and Matilde Batista et al., “Patios, Portales y Persianas: An Introduction,” Herencia, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring-Summer 1997), 16-17. See also, the Eugenio Batista Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables FL, Cuban Heritage Collection, CHC0331.