Architectural design and spacious gardens give the small central Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende its indisputable charm. The same could be said of a $4 million compound in the historic center near one of the city’s landmark green spaces.
Casa Las Palmas at Solano 81, Centro, across from Benito Juarez Park dates to the late 1990s when then-owner Dolores Gazzotti turned her hand to designing a home that reflects a blend of European, art deco, Asian and Mexican Colonial accents.
Gardens with mature plants and palm trees play a key role in creating a tranquil refuge within one of the country’s most picturesque and popular cities.
According to those who knew her, Gazzotti personally designed the arched doors and decorative panels and shutters of the house. She imported hand-picked works of art and furniture from Italy that remain in the home today. The home’s red ochre facade, which blends in with the traditional colors of San Miguel, gives little hint of the eclectic design within.
The main level of the four-bedroom home is built around a garden area framed by graceful arches on stone pedestals, creating an indoor-outdoor living space that may be used for entertaining, dining or kicking back. Most rooms have doors that open to the outdoors.
Inside, the rich mix of design is on full display. The entryway and living room hold Asian-themed accents, such as larger-than-life crane sculptures, murals and large vases. Two bedrooms on the primary level come with en suite bathrooms that take tiling to another level. Glittering blue mosaic columns in one and intricately patterned green tiles in the other strike an opulent note.
The kitchen sticks to local traditional style with deep blue and decorated yellow ceramic tiles. It gives way to a formal dining room as well as a living room, office, laundry room and a half bathroom.
The second level holds an apartment with a separate entrance. Two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, also with distinctive tile motifs, reflect art deco paintings and details. The property also has an unfinished casita that may be used as a separate dwelling or an expansion of the main house.
The property is located in the Centro neighborhood, part of which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its distinctive 16th- to 18th-century architectural style and historic importance.
The home faces Benito Juarez Park, dubbed San Miguel’s “outdoor living room” by the environmental group Audubon of Mexico. It was built in the beginning of the 20th century with a style based on French gardens: tailored greenery, fountains, wrought-iron benches and winding trails. Not far away is the more famous El Jardin, the central plaza surrounded by some of the city’s most beautiful and historic buildings.
Over the past 500 years, San Miguel has evolved from a Spanish outpost and silver mining hub in the 16th century to the birthplace of the uprising against Spain for independence in the 19th century and a haven for artists and artisans in the early 20th century. Today, it’s a top travel destination where the rich can buy a second home unlike any other, such as Casa Las Palmas, in a city unlike any other.