Alianza to mark 50 years in Barro Amón

Alianza Francesa plans an open house of its headquarters for 50 years in Barrio Amón Saturday as well as a tour of the famous neighborhood directed by architect and historian Andrés Fernández.

Alianza, the French cultural organization, noted that it moved into one of the historic homes in Barrio Amón in 1965.  Fernández is well known for giving walking tours of the city and other parts of the country.

The event begins at 9 a.m.

Barrio Amón is called the first San José suburb, and it is well known for the many early 20th century homes that are there, according to newspaper files.

The barrio was where the better-off citizens of the community began making their homes after Frenchman Amon Fasileau Duplantier began subdividing his property at the end of the 19th century. The barrio of Amon quickly became Barrio Amón.

Fasileau came to Costa Rica in 1885 to be in the coffee business. He would not be the last expat to be lured into the real estate business. He installed sidewalks and other infrastructure and began selling lots before the turn of the century.

The area had and still does have a view of the central mountains and volcanoes. Just like today, the developer had his political problems. There was a long-time public laundry facility at the Río Torres to the north, and the developer wanted to remove it for aesthetic reasons. No way, the municipality said, and it was years before the washing area and the lines full of clothing were eliminated.

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