Restorations of a wattle and daub house
Isis Kanashiro J. A. Soares.
On August 1, 1969, a column in the Estado de São Paulo newspaper recommended a weekend visit to Casa do Grito, describing the house as the one that appears in Pedro Américo’s famous painting that portrays the scene of Brazil’s independece. The house is located ‘very close to the place where D. Pedro would have proclaimed the independence of Brazil,’ next to the monument commemorating the episode. The modest wattle and daub construction measuring 11 by 9.75 meters is an example of nineteenth-century architecture and building methods. Over the years, the house has been inhabited by different owners and its oldest document dates back to 1844.
On the premises of the residence, there were originally living rooms, a stand, three bedrooms, a pantry and a kitchen. The house is known to have accommodated passing drovers on the Caminho do Mar road to Santos and functioned as a small inn and carriage house.
Expropriated by the government in 1936, it was relegated to neglect. This situation lasted until 1955, when the first restoration of the building was proposed, inspired by the approach of the IV Centenary of the City of São Paulo. The initiative of the newspaper ‘A Gazeta’ and the Brazilian Geographical Society was based on attributing historical value to construction techniques, as well as to their special situation in relation to the country’s historical events.
At the end of the restoration process, Casa do Grito was reopened in 1958. Among the changes made to the building, one stands out: the addition of a small window to the façade facing Avenida Dom Pedro I, in order to associate it with the representation of Pedro Américo. Based on this fabrication, the small window between the roof’s two waters helped to compose an image that would practically transport the visitor to the scene of Independence. Almost thirty years later, the house underwent another restoration under the supervision of the Department of Historical Heritage (DPH) of the City of São Paulo. The new intervention, carried out in the 1980s, sought to correct the excesses that were previously committed. The small window was removed and its program as a public heritage site was redirected to emphasize the wattle and daub construction technique.
- Luciano Monteiro. Casa do grito: o poder do museu casa e da mediação cultural no processo de elaboração da memória. Revista Mosaico – Revista de História, 2019.
- Museu da Cidade de São Paulo. MCSP/Casa Do Grito.
- O Estado de S. Paulo. Casa do Grito com a estrutura ameaçada. 1981.
- O Estado de S. Paulo. Não fique em casa domingo. 1969.
- O Estado de S. Paulo. Os ultimos meses. 1959.