Barrio de Santa Ana / Santa Ana neighborhood

In our continuing series featuring the unique homes and neighborhoods of Mérida, Yucatán, we are proud to present Barrio de Santa Ana / Santa Ana neighborhood. Our host is Keith Heitke, a senior sales agent for Mexico International Real Estate.

Each video episode on our website features a different residential neighborhood of this interesting and beautiful city, focusing on a home which exemplifies the best of that neighborhood. While we’ll give you lots of great footage and design ideas, we hope it only whets your appetite to see more, and of course nothing beats experiencing these amazing homes in person. Yucatan Today operates a series of House & Garden tours every Wednesday from November through March as a fundraising project for three different non-profit organizations.

If you would like to savor the details about the neighborhood of Santa Ana, and the house itself, scroll down for a written summary. And if you would like to post a comment, you can do so at the end of the article.

Now, let’s have a look!

Charming Parque Santa Ana is located at the corner of Calle 47 and the main city street leading out of the Plaza Principal which is Calle 60, just seven blocks north of the main square and completely contained within Merida’s centro historico.

The church of the same name is a stately and simple design, it dates from 1733. A statue, not of General Santa Ana as one might imagine, but of Andres Quintana Roo, former governor of Yucatan,  presides over a central fountain. Parque Santa Ana features a Mercado and food vendors operate every day.  It is seemingly busy whenever one passes by.  All manner of food and beverage items are available, as well as lots of local arts and crafts.  Because of its central location and exposure to several main streets, the park is often the site of art shows, smaller concerts, craft fairs that bring all the local residents out for a fun day.

Like all bustling city squares, there are a variety of diversions and shaded benches and folks of all ages and being located so near the tourist zone, people visiting from everywhere on Earth.

Surrounding the square are shops, restaurants, galleries, furniture sources, convenience stores, art galleries, and plenty of parking.

It’s the Sana Ana neighborhood where we find ourselves for this episode, let’s take a look inside a great home just a couple of blocks to the west of this busy square.

This old home was in horrible disrepair, as so many were and some still are.  It was very run-down and actually had long ago left behind any pretense of grandeur like when it was built, and was being used as a small “maquiladora” or factory. The whole back part of the house and huge lot had caved in long ago, and was roofed over with a giant rusted tin roof.

Because of the state of neglect, none of the probably stunning original floors were salvageable. Basically what the current owner bought was the very tall front façade with large delivery garage door and the land… everything else including old storage shelves and disused machinery had to be given away or scrapped.

This suited the new owner perfectly however, as he is a creative person who sees his own vision and didn’t want anything anyone else had done previously anyway.

Twenty-foot tall ceilings can be found in the main front room, originally a formal living room, now serving as a sort of grand entrance and buffer from the street.

Through this first room begins the surprises that just don’t end.  Just past the entrance room is the namesake of the property, La Calle Escondida, or The Hidden Street.  The owner loved so many of the fachadas of Merida’s centro historico that he didn’t want to be limited to selecting only one for his house… so he came up with the idea of creating a small interior streetscape of his own, incorporating lots of interesting styles all jumbled together just like they are on the real streets.

There are formal Spanish and French style facades, an entrance to the front room which resembles a church complete with bell tower, a grand theater style archway leading into the main part of the house, and surprisingly, even a façade that has been meticulously created to look like a ruin!

From here we enter what looks like a full-scale theater lobby complete with a giant proscenium arch and puffy theater curtain, which on closer examination isn’t fabric at all, but molded cement in the form of a curtain.  Giant cement tassels hang down from the curtain and theater lights complete the scene.

A dramatic curving stairway leads from here to the bedroom wing.

The enormous living/dining/kitchen space has dramatic lighting both day and night. In the daytime light and air pour in at the edges of the ceiling from carefully designed portals, and at night a configurable range of lights sets any mood imaginable.

A large open kitchen features all the appliances we like to have nowadays, along with a huge polished cement island for entertaining in style.

From here we go to a covered colonnade porch area that in turn gives out onto the huge swimming pool, which also intersects with the structure of the house at the back of the property, hundreds and hundreds of feet away from the blank façade at the front.

A mirrored passageway with bubbling fountain and rows and rows of tropical plantings leads us back to yet another indoor/outdoor living area, this one complete with yet another bathroom and wet-bar.

The huge master suite is located at the quiet back of the property

And goes from one side of the property all the way to the other.

Here again the owner did not follow any proscribed formula but instead created a huge and open space, with the bathroom totally incorporated into the bedroom on a raised platform.  A big walk-in closet is behind one of the doors.  Tall wood framed windows face back onto the main house, and the whole space is quietly regal, floating above this most unique Merida creation.

Click here to see more of Keith’s house tour videos.

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