The building was originally Lima's main train station (Estacion de Desamparados - Desamparados Train Station) and opened in 1912. Situated behind the Presidential Palace at the River Rimac it was a symbol of the progress and development of the city in the beginning of the 20th century. At this time the capital of Peru was completely redesigned.
The model for the "new" Lima was Paris (in Latin America assumed to be the cultural capital of the world). Many old Colonial buildings had to make way for this modernization of the City Center; as well the orphanage and church that was standing where today we find the Estacion Desamparados and which at least gave the train station its name. The building blends in nicely with the old city while at the same time reflecting the modernity of this era.
The impressive facade is surely neoclassical. The stations interior is dominated by iron structures and lots of glass. At the beginning of the 20th century "Desamparados" was among other destinations the starting point for one of the world's great railway journeys: the trip from Lima to Huancayo in the central Andes. Unfortunately passenger services were terminated a long time ago. But since the beginning of 2007 the route has been re-established. About once a month you can make this amazing and exciting tour.
In October 2009 the building became a new purpose and was renamed to "Casa de la Literatura Peruana" (House of the Peruvian Literature). Today it houses a Cultural Center with temporary art exhibitions and an extensive library. In 13 rooms you are introduced to all important Peruvian literary styles and authors.