Know our history

In this cultural landscape, the urban concept of the large sets of buildings created from 1919 until World War II stands out: the old houses for officers, sergeants and capes, and the barracks for soldiers located in the Central Quadrangle and the Lake Park. In them stand out the hierarchy, symmetry, the sense of harmony and large empty spaces that invite contemplation.

The design of the original fort – horseshoe-shaped and neoclassical-inspired buildings – was the creation of renowned architect Samuel M. Hitt, who finished the Canal Administration building in Balboa and designed the splendid Gorgas Hospital in Ancon.

The later buildings of the 1930s and 1940s, although strictly modern in their functionality, stand out for their neocolonial details (a style that is called Bellavistino in Panama) and in some cases Art Deco, and for their prominent eaves and roofs of toja tiles . They were designed by architects such as Rolland C. Buckley, who also designed important buildings in the historic center of Panama, and Harold W. Sander, one of the founders of the Panamanian Modern Movement, who along with Octavio Méndez Guardia and Edward Durell Stone, designed the Hotel El Panama (1951). The Panamanian firm Wright & Schay, which designed emblematic buildings of the Bellavista neighborhood, also left its mark on Clayton, since they were responsible for developing the design of the old cinema, now converted into the CdS Athenaeum.

The Urban Development Master Plan of the City of Knowledge provides for the preservation of these and other values, establishing the mandatory conservation of the main groups.

Located in what was the residence of the first commanders of the fort, today is the Interpretation Center of the City of Knowledge. The house has a permanent exhibition that offers the public a Panamanian narrative about the historical significance of the Clayton site. Likewise, the exhibition tells the story of the City of Knowledge project, and shows the transformation that has been carried out on its campus, as well as the projects carried out for the conservation and enhancement of the legacy received.