In a model for urban planners everywhere, the city of Asunción combined this manzana (block) of nine historic houses near the river into a pleasing cultural center. The oldest of these, the 1764 Casa Viola, the name by which many Asunceños refer to as the "complex," serves as a small city museum called the Museo Memoria de la Ciudad. The Casa Emasa, once a customs office, now houses La Galería, the center's art gallery. The 1914 art nouveau Casa
Clari, the newest house, is the complex's café.