Early in the 20th century, on land that had previously belonged to a farmhouse, Can Peguera, a residential area was built for workers that soon earned the nickname of cases barates - cheap houses. These simple, single-storey constructions are still there and make Can Peguera one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in Nou Barris.
The farmhouse neighbourhood
The district used to be a rural area with masies, farmhouses, dotted here and there. There used to be one on the slopes of Turó de la Peira, bordering on Horta, known as Can Peguera, that made glue with the resin from the many pine trees that grew on its land.
Urban development only reached the area at the start of the 20th century, first in the form of some Modernista residences for wealthy families, of which the odd one still survives, and then the more humble dwellings.
In 1929, with the intention of housing the workers arriving in Barcelona to work on the International Exposition and build the metro, the Municipal Housing Board bought the old farmhouse land, which belonged to the Marquis of Castellbell's estate, and drew up plans to build four blocks of houses there.
The terraced dwellings, with a little garden at the front and simple roofs, were named after the governor, although they were soon dubbed the cheap houses of Ramon Albó.
The cheap houses were finished in 1931 and formed a series of blocks with 534 houses in all. A further 116 were built in 1947 and in 1949 the first blocks of flats were raised, one of them on the site left by the demolition of the old Can Peguera farmhouse.
At that time the Municipal Housing Board also built similar houses for workers' families in districts such as Sants-Montjuïc and Sant Andreu, but as the years passed these were replaced by blocks of multi-storey flats. Can Peguera, on the other hand, has survived as a testimony to the past, maintaining its unique, working-class character.