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  • Years of scorching sun, tropical storms and life’s unexpected events have gone by scarring the paint and growing an indescribable patina all over the House of the Sun.

    Parts of the balcony have rot and detached, also aided by external cataclysms that weren’t Mother Nature’s fault. A few years back a very large truck hit and run the corner of the house, destroying part of the balcony. Obviously, no one took responsibility, nor offered any help to fix the damage. In fact, the very night this happened, Georgette run to the police station where she would learn the utter carelessness of the Dominican law system, not even being allowed to file a report of the accident.

    Now, in the sunset of her life, Georgette still lives in the House her father built, sometimes courageously balancing on the wobbly planks of the semi-destroyed balcony, coping with the many leaks from the original roof and hoping to find someone to help her restore this remarkable building.

    Georgette said to me that she does not believe any help will come from the government and her only chance to preserve this amazing monument of architectural ingenuity would probably be winning the lottery, she keeps playing and praying for, every week.

    At the same time, hordes of unscrupulous speculators keep their eyes on the property, constantly trying to lure Georgette into selling it. After all, in the current climate of pitiless corruption in the Dominican Republic, it would be easy to tear everything down and build a brand new, shining, horrible shopping mall in its place.

    But Georgette is stubbornly turning all offers down because, she explains, despite all the problems to deal with on a daily basis, not having the financial capability to fix the building, she believes she would die immediately if she was to move out.

    She fears that one day someone will try to burn the house down, just like it has happened before with other remarkable old and historical building in the area, in place of which now towers some non-descript, horrible, cement monstrosity.




    Audio: excerpt from an interview with Georgette Michelen
    ©Giovanni Savino /Magnetic Art Productions

    A photo book about the Michelen family and the House of the Sun is in the final stages of productions and will be published soon.
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