Several Valletta façades undergo restoration works

Planning Commission green light for a further two projects which will result in a much needed facelift to a number of dilapidated buildings.

Streets in Valletta, synonymous with grim façades and abandoned buildings, are slowly becoming a thing of the past, according to the Planning Authority. This, the authority argues, is because the Planning Commission gave the green light for a further two projects which will result in a much needed facelift to a number of dilapidated buildings.

One of the approved projects will include restoration works to be carried out on the façades of three adjacent large houses covering a stretch of over 30 meters. The properties are situated in Strait Street.

One of the houses, with door numbers 114, 115, 116 and 117, was owned by Fra Agostino Sans de Lallosa. This three-storey building became the property of the Order of the Knights, through the spoglio of Fra Agostino who died on the 26th December 1701.

The adjacent property, which today is accessed through door numbers 118, 119 and 120, is known as Casa Viani. Elements of baroque are evident in the façade with the windows having a thick Maltese moulding. The house is built on two floors although some intermediate levels added later are now evident. It was bought by Vincenzo Viani at an auction sale of the Seneschal’s Office. Vincenzo Viani limited the inheritance of all his property, with the exception of this house.

In 1734, the house became the property of the Università that was used as a part payment for money Viani owed the Università.

The premises were eventually sold at a public auction and were acquired by the Manoel Foundation. This is confirmed by a plaque over the round window of door number 119. Part of the ground floor of this building was converted into the Piccadilly Bar during the late nineteenth century.

The third property, door numbers 121 and 122, consists of a building with a simple classical built symmetrically with a balcony in the middle, now lost except for the two corbels. The original owner of the house was Fra Nicole de Cintraj. In 1731 this property was sold to the Manoel Foundation. Part of the ground floor of this property was opened up separately as a commercial establishment.

The other approved project will see restoration works carried out on the 18-meter long façade of the Kerreja building in St. Paul's Street.

The property, which has five floors, is sited right opposite the landmark building which housed the popular Valletta Market.

The façade, which will be restored shows typical architectural features of traditional Maltese town houses, while the main entrance door has a very special stone frame with specific stone mouldings.

These two approved projects are part of the strategic ongoing drive, commitment and investment that Government and the commercial sector have been placing towards the regeneration of Malta’s Capital. 

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