Mercado de Orotina was rescued from abandonment after a declaration of architectural heritage.

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More than 100 years old, high humidity and the damage caused by termites, threatened to bring the old Orotina Municipal Market to the ground, which little by little became an inappropriate space for its users, both merchants and customers.

Today, this heritage property looks renovated, painted yellow; but, most importantly, it is much safer. The restoration carried out by the Cultural Heritage Center of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, managed, among the most relevant works, to change the damaged wooden pieces in the roof structure, and to install a new electrical system that complies with current regulations.

“As for the improvements, I think it was very necessary that they were made, because the market was very eaten by moths, an insect that cannot be seen, but it was damaging the structure. She was badly damaged, so the remaining useful life was not going to be, I reckon, not even five years. There were already rumors that they were recommending improvements, because if not, it would collapse and from here we depend, directly, about 32 families, plus all the collaborators, “said Mario González, a tenant of a market place, for 30 years, who also he was very grateful.

Vista de la fachada lateral, se aprecia los techos de las dos galerías originales que mantiene el edificio, así como el parque infantil. Por: O. Salas, CICPC.

The investment corresponded to ¢ 150 million colones from the award, as the winning project of the contest “Let’s Save Our Historical-Architectural Heritage”, but, in addition, the Municipality of Orotina, owner of the property, joined the rescue of the property and contributed to the remodeling of the external areas of the market, such as the plaza and children’s play area with ¢ 190 million colones; in addition, the painting of the facade, for ¢ 5.1 million colones, and a new and safer gas system for commercial premises, which amounted to ¢ 15.5 million colones.

“In the case of the Orotina Market, recently restored, two important events converged: on the one hand, it was a winning building in the ‘Save Our Heritage’ contest, and on the other, the Municipality of Orotina made a valuable contribution ‘, investing mainly in its external spaces. In this way, the community came out winning, because now it has a beautiful recently restored heritage and the urban spaces that surround it have a new impact on the community, by offering rest and recreation spaces, as well as public bathrooms, ”said Diego Meléndez, director of the Center for Cultural Heritage.

Vista interior donde se aprecia el piso antideslizante y la restauración de la estructura de madera del techo. Por: L. López, CICPC.

“We consider that these types of alliances are vital to enhance the impact of interventions in heritage buildings, because in this way, the invested funds benefit citizens by offering them new and better spaces to enjoy. We appreciate the contribution made by the Municipality of Orotina and we urge that more municipalities commit to investing in improvements to the surrounding environments of their valuable heritage buildings ”, added the director.

According to Óscar Salas, architect of the Cultural Heritage Center in charge of supervising the works, the Municipal Market was built in 1915; It has disused construction techniques, such as its baked clay brick walls and a solid wood structure that makes up the deck or ceiling, in an area of ​​1450 square meters.

As reported by the Heritage Center, this restoration mainly sought to rescue the internal wooden structure, characteristic of the construction period. This process was quite a challenge, since an analysis of the resistance of the wood present in the market structure had to be made, in order to be able to replace pieces or reinforce them, managing to preserve the particular construction system of the market and preserve it as it was originally built. . “It was important not to lose that collective memory of the market that the people of Oroten have,” said architect Salas.

Part of the works carried out was the replacement of the floor of the corridors, without patrimonial value, with non-slip floors, ensuring the transit of people within the market. The entire roof was changed and the eaves of the market were extended to the areas of the adjoining squares, in order to integrate them into the building and provide greater comfort to users. Exterior lighting was installed and doors and windows throughout the market were restored. In addition, the entire mechanical system was readjusted, both in the premises and in the market itself.

Finally, many of the original porcelain elements of the old electrical system, such as bridges and fuse boxes, were also preserved, unused and only as witnesses to the construction period.

“The biggest challenge was working within the market facilities keeping it open to the public, as was the request of the tenants, to cope with the serious situation that Covid-19 generated in the country. For this reason, the works were delayed in time, but the task was completed. At this time it is a structurally safe property, equipped with gas, fire and electrical systems, in accordance with current regulations, correcting a sanitary measure presented by the Ministry of Health. The 7600 Accessibility Law was also complied with and today the market has all the income appropriate to this law, ”Salas added.

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