For many centuries, Sitges lived off the sea and crop exports, mainly vineyards. Its role as port for the Penedès area ensured a financial boom and this was increased by its overseas trade, in which it participated intensely from the time that Carles III passed a decree favouring direct traffic with the Americas in 1788. The town's economy reached its peak in the 19th century with the introduction of shoe manufacturing and Joan Tarrida opening the first factory in 1876, which was a national success.
The Americas, especially Cuba and Puerto Rico, was an attractive destination for waves of Catalan emigrants, and these numbers increased from the 1840s onwards. Some of those who left returned after making their fortune in the New World, and these so-called "Americans" wanted to invest in their land and enjoy the town of Sitges, which at the time was being transformed into a residential, leisure spot for the well-to-do middle classes. These "Americans" wanted to show off the signs of their successful adventures abroad and one way of doing this was to build large, magnificent and original houses different to the usual neo-classical, eclectic and vernacular buildings of the day. To do this, the rich opted for architects and master builders who had been trained in Barcelona and were immersed in the latest trends.
Despite complicated and insufficient overland connections, links between Sitges and Barcelona began in 1881, when the first railway line was opened. This allowed for the Modernista spirit to spread and it was formally incorporated into not only private housing but also urban planning. The second phase of Sitges' new expansion project began in 1880 and it was based on the health and social policies that Ildefons Cerdà had designed for Barcelona. This second phase was located near the train station and some Modernista works can be found there, with others being scattered across comfortable old town areas, near Carrer Major and Passeig de la Ribera.
Modernisme in Sitges reproduced that which could be found in Barcelona, displaying personal styles that were full of tradition (Cellers Güell, by Gaudí and Berenguer), works of an early anachronistic Modernisme with eclectic touches (Casa Simó Llauradó, by G. Miret), and forms that were more in tune with Art Nouveau (Casa Pere Carreras, by J. Pujol), or ones closer to the geometric forms of the Vienna Secession, as can be seen in the Villa Havenmann, by J. Domènech i Estepà, 1907, or the Casa Bartomeu Carbonell, by I. Mas, 1913.