Casa de las Tías
1926 - 1930
Los Musello y los
1440, on Rocafuerte street was built in the XVI Century and sits in the
thick of the colonial enclave of the City of Quito, only meters from
the Plaza of the Convent of Santo Domingo. According to Dr.
Fernando Jurado Noboa, Numerary Member of the National History Academy
of Ecuador, this house belonged to Don Diego de Torres, one of the
founders of Quito. It was also a temporary settlement for members of
the Dominican Order. As stated by Dr. Jurado, the original Dominican
Convent was originally founded in this house and two neighboring homes.
The Other two homes have been reduced to colonial facades with
completely remodelled indoors; the styles of the time have vanished
without any conservation.
to the information collected by Dr. Fernando Jurado Noboa in Volume I
of his book, "Casas del Quito Viejo, (Jurado, Aguilar, Moreno, p. 41,
42, Colección Medio Milenio 6, 1992.), the following is the
History of "La Casa De las Tias Musello"
1640 the House belonged to Don Diego Navarrete and his Wife, Jacinta
Borja. In the second half of the seventeenth century the house became
the property of José Araujo, a merchant.
In the Eighteenth Century, the House became the property of Dr. Juan
Ruiz de Santo Domingo, a man from Panama who lived with twelve other
people. Shortly afterwards, Joaquin Anda Viteri, Canon, emerges as the
proprietor, Later on he would be the man to marry Mariscal Sucre to his
wife in 1828, Sucre is a well known liberator of the Americas
an incredibly important historical figure.
In May of 1808, the house saw the birth of General José
María Urbina, who was baptized in the sanctuary of El
Sagrario and would eventually become the leader of the
Liberal Party, president of the country from 1852-56, and would
liberate the black slaves of the nation. In the 1833 Census The House
included an adjacent house to the west, both belonged to Dr. Josefa
Echanique Piñeyro and the Treasurer Juan Bernardino Delgado
Guzmán, Beside them on the second floor lived the Martinez
Osorio Family and across the street lived Josefa Cuesta and Mr.
Enriquez de Leon. The house was conserved for 90 years in the
hands of the Delgado de Chiriboga Salazar family, who had a long family
line. On august 27, 1897 the Chiriboga Delgado Family sold the house
for a mere 12,000 sucres, the buyer was Isolina Guzmán
de Bueno. During the life of the Chiribogas, Felipe Guzmán
lived on the bottom floor, he was a relative but also an
at the art of making nativity sets.
Mrs. Guzmán owned both ouses for over twenty years, turning
second story from a stable to a house so as to give it to her daughter,
Maria Luisa Bueno de Barreyro. The actual house which we speak of was
kept for herself. In 1926 The house was bought by Cayetano Musello, an
Italian merchant which had the house restored by Antonino Russo, a very
well known Italian architect who, amongst other things, opened a
terrace on the third floor, changed the deck, and added a glass
Gallery. The married Mussello-Durango couple brought very much art to
the house, art which his daughters have been very careful to preserve:
amongst them a statue of the Virgin of La Merced made by famous
sculptor Salas and commisioned byGabriel Uriarte, a local priest.
Cayetano contributed a lot in his own right; in 1918 his family in
Italy sent very many valuable art objects to their relatives in Quito,
these included paintings by Gerardo della Notte, A painting of the
Woman of Putifar, a copper kitchen set made with old cannon shells, two
beautiful mirrors from the Minghetti School acquired in Quito in 1921.
In between 1941 and 1950, Cayetano's two daughters, Anna and Emma begin
to form a veritable museum in their home: collecting antique items like
colonial chests, lamps with candles from the past century, paintings,
furniture from old spanish families, one Virgin of Legarda, and
Manosalvas, ' Virgin of the Light '.
In the 1960s they donated 17 art pieces to the Museum of the Central
Bank of Ecuador. The work of this family in 66 years of owning the
house, cannot be compared; if others in the Old Town would have
followed suit, the colonial center of the city would be a very
honor the Tradition established by our Great Grandparents, Gaetano
Mussella and Francisca Durango, and their daughters, our Great aunts
Anna and Emma, we have worked in the recovery and maintenance of this
house ( La Casa de las Tias) respecting the original
and working to make it both functional and comfortable without
distorting the style or changing the atmosphere that characterized it
while The Musello Sisters were alive.
deck has been renewed and reinforced and is now 40% stronger despite
maintaining the original structure. The restored ceilings are high like
they were in 1926. We also remodeled the house's entry and exit pipes
and changed 80% of the old electrical system in the house.
work extremely hard to rescue, renovate, and restore in an authentic
way. The house has been inhabited from the XVI century to this day. We
have a mission to preserve the style that has survived for centuries,
and we continue to make changes to the house to make it functional in
accordance to today's world. We work equally hard on the recovery and
diffusion of art education and appreciation of the arts through visual
arts exhibits and theatre performances. Eventually, as we recover the
many spaces in the house, we will work to make space for Chamber music,
and other educational and cultural activities. This is an Important
challenge that undoubtedly requires support.
are enormously appreciative of your donations, and of the
support through HERE,
or through the cooperation of :
para le Desarollo e Investigación Educativa (Foundation for
educational development and Research)
Please contact us here: email
support this restoration project through the Arts: Click here