This family was well known in Barcelona. Mr. Josep Batlló i Casanovas was a textile industrialist who owned several factories in the city. As such, he was an important businessman. He married Amàlia Godó Belaunzarán, from the family which founded the daily newspaper La Vanguardia, also of the jute industry Godó connection. They had five children: José, Mercedes, Carmen, Felipe and Luis, though the youngest died at an early age from a little-known disease.
The Batlló – Godó marriage was reported in the evening edition of La Vanguardia from the 14th of May 1884:
“This morning at nine o’clock, in the parish church of the Immaculate Conception, the marriage was celebrated between Miss Amalia Godó Belaunzarán, the beautiful and graceful daughter of our honourable friend Mr Bartolomé Godó, ex-member of parliament for Igualada, and the distinguished young gentleman Mr José Batlló y Casanovas, with the esteemed families of both the bride and groom present at the most solemn ceremony.
At two o’clock this afternoon the newlyweds will set off on their honeymoon, visiting some of the most important cities in Spain and abroad.
We wish them a successful trip and complete happiness in their new life together, and we also extend our congratulations to their respective families.”
Both Josep Batlló and his wife were open to innovation and they did not limit Gaudí’s creativity in any way. Batlló did not want his house to look anything like the houses of the rest of the Batlló clan, such as Casa Pía, built on the corner of Gran Vía and Rambla de Catalunya by the well-known figure Josep Vilaseca. Therefore, he chose the architect who had designed Park Güell (Eusebi Güell had been Gaudí’s great patron) and asked him to come up with a daring plan.
The family lived on the Noble Floor of Casa Batlló until the middle of the 1950s.
Mr. Josep Batlló i Casanovas died on the 10th of March 1934.
La Vanguardia reported the death on Sunday the 11th of March 1934:
DON JOSÉ BATLLÓ CASANOVAS
One of Barcelona’s best known and most respected
industrialists, Mr. José Batlló Casanovas, has died,
at an old age and following a long and arduous illness,
which was the sad conclusion of an industrious life.
In life he was wholly dedicated to his work, as a result
of which he was a prominent figure in the industrial
movement in Barcelona. At the head of several
important companies, Mr José Batlló Casanovas
exhibited the many talents with which he was blessed.
The inseparable companion of his cousin, the first Count
of Godó, to whose family he was closely related,
he contributed his efforts for many years
along with those of his cousin, to one of the many activities
that he performed, for which he was the best and most
sadly missed friend of LA VANGUARDIA.
The personal character of Mr Batlló, which was rich in the
qualities of amiability and kindness, earned him the affection
and friendship of all those who knew him, near and far.
His death has been unanimously and widely felt. At this
difficult time, we wish to express to his entire family, and
especially to his sons, Mr José and Mr Felipe, our deepest
and most heartfelt condolences.”