CASCO VIEJO, (Old Quarter) also known as "Casco Antiguo", "Downtown", or "San Felipe", is a neighborhood, or better yet, the Historical District, or Art Deco inside Panamá City. After Old Panamá City was destroyed by fire in 1671 by pirates, the new city was built in 1673, with a combined French, colonial, American, republican and afro architecture, making it a very beautiful and unique place, with its narrow brick streets.
Their main method of transportation at that time were horses with carriages, and later on, an electric train was inaugurated.
Their residents enjoyed large houses with balconies, all of them with ocean views, as Casco Viejo is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. After the upper class residents began to emigrate to other neighborhoods around 1930 with the new "car era", the less privileged residents occupied different buildings until the present, with many residents reluctant to move from the place they have lived all their lives. Due to new re-structural regulations and laws and the higher prices in the area, new residents are coming back, among them the most important, the president of Panamá at the Presidential Palace, and Mr. Bruce Quinn, a very well known international theater producer, and others.
Because Casco Viejo is nearby other neighborhoods like Santa Ana, Chorrillo, Calidonia, and Ancón, the residents of Casco Viejo interact on everyday basis with the residents of these other areas, so precautions should be taken not to walk out of the tourist area.
This area was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997.
Casco Viejo does not have a high density of residents, because more and more government, historical and public buildings are there.