Last Sunday I decided to go out and take a walk, since it was boiling inside my house. It was really hot. I headed for the hills in search of fresh air and breathing space.
Near the Panama Canal is a hill known as Ancon Hill which houses very nice looking homes. The area is known as Balboa Heights. Most of the time, there’s a nice cool breeze fanning the place, and the area is totally surrounded with thick lush vegetation. It’s a perfect place to get away from steamy Panama City during the dry season.
One of the most beautiful buildings in Balboa Heights is the Governor’s House. This house was built in the town of Culebra in 1906 as the official residence of Chief Engineer, John F. Stevens when he arrived at the Isthmus to build the Panama Canal.
Being near the construction site, the house was a silent witness to the huge dynamite blasts, the roaring trains carrying tons of dirt and rocks, the mud slides at Culebra Cut during the rainy season, and the pain of the dying patients of yellow fever and malaria.
When the Canal was finished in 1914, the house was disassembled and moved to Balboa Heights where it would be used as the official residence of the Panama Canal Governors until 1979. It is now the official residence of the Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority.
According to Panama Canal records, the Governor’s House total cost was $19,773 in 1906 U.S. dollars. It cost almost that much to move it from Culebra to Balboa Heights in 1914—$16,300.
Naturally, while visiting Balboa Heights, I took several photographs of the Governor’s House. This is what I saw last Sunday late afternoon about 5:00 p.m. (-5 GMT). Here we go.
Photograph of the sign at the entrance of the Governor's House. In English it reads, "Originally built in 1906 in the town of Culebra as the home of Chief Engineer John F. Stevens. The house was moved to its present site in 1914 when Colonel George W. Goethals was the occupant. The house was the residence of Governors of the Canal Zone from 1914, through September 30, 1979. It is now the home of the Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority." (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
View of the front entrance of the Governor's House. Notice the thick lush vegetation around the house. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
In this view you can enjoy the porte cochere built on the front entrance over the circular driveway during the administration of Col. Meriwether L. Walker - 1924-1928. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Photograph of the upper section of the house framed by beautiful tropical vegetation. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Photograph of the Governor's House with a view of one of two fountains which were later added to the building. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Enjoy the architecture style of the house and the surrounding exotic tropical gardens. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
If you happen to be in Panama City, a tour to Balboa Heights is a must. The fresh air, the scenery of Panama City down below, elegant residences, and beautiful Ancon Hill will fascinate you. Please drop over if you can. Good Day.
Source: The Governor’s House by CZ Brats
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