In the foreground are the cobblestones of Plaza de San Francisco. Prior to 1575, this area was a swamp. Then it was converted into land to help service Spanish ships at the Havana Harbor while the galleons engaged in trade across the Indies. The space was formalized as a square in 1628. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Saint Francis of Assisi Square became a popular location among the social elite and aristocrats for constructing palatial mansions. An example is this house at Oficios 71. It was built by the officers of the Cupet company.