The residents of San Pedro, against the transformation of the square

From the Neighborhood Association of San Pedro and San Sebastián We continue to maintain the claims in our neighborhood as we have been doing since our foundation. One of them is that of the st peter’s square, in which we have always defended maintaining its Juana Ramonian flavor, its elegance and simplicity, a beauty that makes it a beautiful place, the embryonic nucleus of the contemporary city in which we live. The St. Peter’s Church it is the symbol that remains in it, as the oldest and most beautiful building in Huelva that deserves everyone’s care.

That is the commitment of this neighborhood association in which the attention of the square has always been demanded, in the gardening, in its elegant palm grove, the pedestrian crossings to make the stay in it safer and more pleasant. It is true that in this last decade some things have been achieved, but others remain on the list of claims.

From the moment that this association learned through the media of the intention of the Huelva City Council to act in the square, it was interested in learning about the project and was asked to do so. An unanswered request that even reached the municipal plenary from opposition groups.

Also requested for information on the restoration of the Santa Fe Market, the Municipal Planning Delegation received this association when the project was prepared and tendered. We regret that situation because they did not give us the opportunity to contribute anything, when this building has always been a social claim of this association that brought to the Ombudsman the intention of the previous municipal government team to turn it into a cocktail bar.

In that meeting we again showed our interest in learning about the San Pedro Square project that was being developed; They agreed to convene us but this did not come until the same day it was published in the local press and the bidding process began.

In the meeting held with the deputy mayor of Urban Planning, Manuel Gómez, and his technicians, we expressed our discomfort that we were called when everything was decided by the City Council without being able to contribute anything from this association. A project with European funds that does not meet one of the key issues that is neighborhood participation.

This association conveyed to the City Council the desire that the Plaza de San Pedro be maintained as a hallmark for all of Huelva. We remember that the transformation of the square has never been intended from this association, but rather its maintenance and conservation.

An inadequate action and without consensus the only thing that it will cause is the rejection that is seen, for example, in the Plaza de la Merced where now the neighbors request its modification. We have not asked for the change of the square, we like it as it is in its essence. We want to avoid that we are always complaining about an inadequate performance in St. Peter’s Square.

In Urban Planning, this association was informed of the elaborated project; in which we made some notes on specific issues. There is no rejection of pedestrianization since it is a benefit for the citizens, but in that which involves a transformation of the square. At the time, this association proposed the removal of cars next to the church on Calle Licenciado Juan Agustín de Mora.

It will be the residents of the San Pedro neighborhood and of the city, due to the characteristics of this unique environment, who will express themselves in this regard about the project presented by the City Council, which is their exclusive responsibility.

These are some of our notes:

  • It proposes the reform of the staircase of the porch of San Pedro to reduce the existing slope, so it will extend throughout the space that is now a road until it communicates with the current square. It warns of the need to keep the same style of brick and design, otherwise it would be a patch.
  • In the square, what they call a sheet of water is now designed so that the façade of the church is reflected. What should be proposed is the recovery of the pond that it initially had. And never expanding it since the square must be a square and not an Olympic swimming pool. It would reduce the living space, also creating an insecurity problem for the children who have to play in it, as well as for those who transit.
  • Regarding the elimination of the hedges, it is indicated that these are part of a design assumed in the square and that it is possible to choose to combine them with the proposed opening of the square towards its sides, being intercession elements and not barriers that now protects from vehicles.
  • The planting of trees on these sides should be very well studied in their number and placement, since the beauty of its two historic building fronts, otherwise cataloged, would be lost. The species should be orange trees.
  • new grove. The incorporation of two large trees proposed in the area opposite the façade of the church is completely rejected, precisely because it would contribute to hiding it; nor in any other place in the square, as it would reduce angles of vision of the church as a central element.
  • The palm grove as a sign of identity. Plaza de San Pedro has had a consolidated image in Huelva since the end of the 19th century with the two rows of palm trees that come to escort the plaza, framing the beauty of the church of San Pedro, which remains in the project. The neighborhood association proposes the recovery of the palm trees in the existing ‘bald spots’ due to the red weevil and the planting of others but always of the same species, which would be achieved with the reorganization of some current palm trees and the transfer of specimens here from other places.
  • The association proposes the maintenance of Huelva type wrought iron benches and not modern and impersonal ones.
  • The indications on the lampposts ensure the maintenance of the existing and classic types such as those on the porch of the parish.
  • The Monument to San Manuel González is guaranteed its current location and on its pedestal, as affirmed by the Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning, Manuel Gómez. The association indicates the need for a restoration, since the intervention carried out by the previous municipal government team removed all the patina with which the ‘seams’ of the different bronze pieces can now be seen. It is necessary to improve its lighting of the existing lights and that this association proposed in its day.
  • The maintenance of the tiles that are in the square in its location in the different corners is guaranteed. For the tile of the Virgen de los Ángeles, the need for lighting is indicated.
  • The great change that arises in the square is produced by seeking the same level throughout the space, which will lead to a general unevenness in slope, with the feeling of dizziness of walking on the deck of a ship, as occurs in the Nuns’ Square. For this reason, we propose a study that makes the existing elements in the square more inclusive with the extension of it towards the sides by suppressing road traffic.
  • We invite the municipal government team to get to know the square with the neighbors so that together we can promote the best performance in it.

The Plaza de San Pedro should not stop being the Plaza de San Pedro de Huelva to become any square in any place.

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