Stichting News

If you pass by Cas Veneranda on Wilhelminastraat, you will notice that work has stopped and the entrances to the building have been closed again. The restoration project has not stopped, but the first phase has been completed.

During the past two and a half months, the contractor General Property Services carried out the demolition of modifications made in 1978 to convert the house into the Papiamento restaurant by the cousins, Martin & Irvin Tauber. Afterward, the Ellis family took over the restaurant in December 1984, and by the late 1990s, when they moved the restaurant, the house was left vacant. Mrs. Landa Merryweather sealed the house some years later to prevent unauthorized persons from entering. Unfortunately, in 2014, a major fire completely burned the roof.

During the demolition work, Stichting Monumentenfonds Aruba (SMFA) removed all the non-original modifications and reopened the openings that had been sealed to prevent unauthorized access to the building. During this first phase, everything that was not original was removed, and an investigation continued. Details that were not previously visible were discovered during the demolition work, providing some clarity on the building’s original state. With all the information obtained, the preparations for the next phase, which will be the actual restoration, will be finalized by September.

In addition to the demolition work, the house and the grounds have been completely cleaned. SMFA found a lot of trash on the grounds at Wilhelminastraat, which had been used as a dump. Thanks to the cooperation of Minister Arends, the City Inspector team, and Serlimar, the grounds were cleaned. SMFA asks the community to help keep the area clean during and after the restoration.

Cas Veneranda
This striking building on Wilhelminastraat 7 was constructed in 1936 for Federico Maximiliaan (Machi) Arends, who was the Spanish consul. The architect was the well-known master builder Dada Picus, who went to Colombia to find inspiration from a building that Machi’s wife, Maria Veneranda, loved, and then returned to Aruba to build the structure we now know as Cas Veneranda. One of the largest houses in Aruba at that time, it served multiple purposes. It was not only a residence but also housed the first “Super” ice cream shop and the first location of Masyfral. Oncha’s flower shop and the Spanish consulate were also located in the building. In the late 1970s, the building was converted into the Papiamento restaurant. During the last two years, the Papiamento restaurant also operated as a nightclub (Club Nouveau) after the restaurant closed at night. After Papiamento restaurant vacated the building in the late 1990s, it remained empty. In 2023, Stichting Monumentenfonds Aruba reached a purchase agreement with the heirs of Machi Arends, and in March 2024, the official transfer of the building took place to begin the restoration. The project is co-financed by Algemeen Pensioenfonds Aruba (APFA) along with the Nationaal Restauratiefonds of the Netherlands (NRF) and the Ministry of Economy, Communication, and Sustainable Development. After the restoration, the monument will become the office of DEACI and will also have a space for hospitality services.

Monuments Fund Aruba
Stichting Monumentenfonds Aruba has existed since 1996 and is a non-governmental organization responsible for acquiring, restoring, renting, and maintaining Aruba’s monuments. In addition, it emphasizes education and awareness regarding the importance of our monuments as part of our cultural heritage. Cas Veneranda is the 17th monument owned by Stichting Monumentenfonds Aruba.

For more information, follow us on social media: Monuments Fund Aruba