Joachim Luiz da Silva Souto was a famous apothecary and that is how in 1830 the place was named the Lago do Boticario. However at that time, the site consisted of eight indistinguishable separate houses.
The house located at 32 Largo do Boticário was built in 1846 by “Colonel” Joaquim Alberto de Souza da Silvera. He worked for the Emperor Don Pedro II and was the godfather of Machado de Assis. In those days the house was a “salon” for Rio’s high society
It’s Rodolfo Gonçalves da Siqueira (Ruddy), who modified the house in the 1930’s into a typical colonial home in the style of the eighteenth century. He managed to retrieve some architectural pieces partly destroyed during the reconstruction of the old city center. He decorated the house with luxurious furniture and unique works dating back from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Inventories of this extraordinary furniture are only available in architecture and interior decoration journals of the time. However, Ruddy was able to recreate his home to become THE place to be in Rio.
In 1942, the house belonged to Magu Leão, a lady passionate for art and literature. She used to invite Brazilian artists and intellectuals as well as famous personalities of the modernist movement. Sumptuous dinners were held every Sunday evening with prestigious guests such as Oscar Niemeyer, Manuel Bandeira, BurleMarx,Tarsila, Candido Portinari,Bruno Giorgi,Lucio Costa and Le Corbusier…
After her departure in 1986, the house was unoccupied for nearly 20 years and most of the house’s treasures were regrettably lost forever.
Restored in 2004 by Lucio Beleza and his daughter Joana, the house became an historical heritage and an architectural symbol of Rio de Janeiro.
Ten years later, Jane and Eric Chabanel, owners of a French company specializing in the renovation and preservation of historic buildings, became the new owners of 32 Largo do Boticário. After ten months of hard work, their objective now is to revive Largo’s spirit.