Historic Preservation

Posted February 21, 2020
  • Front Cover of the Publication, A Citizen’s Guide for the Preservation of Architectural Heritage in Puerto Rico

  • Joint Press Conference from the Government of Puerto Rico

  • Group photo

    From Left to Right -  María Del Mar Pérez Caro, Dr. Mayra Jiménez Montano; Prof. Carlos Ruiz Cortés, Executive Director of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP); Pablo Ojeda O’Neill, Director of the Built Heritage Program at the ICP; Gloria Ortíz, Deputy Historic Preservation Officer of Puerto Rico; Nelmaris Camacho García, Carmen Marla López, Former Director of the Built Heritage Program at the ICP; Héctor J. Berdecía-Hernández (M.S.HP 20’)

  • Community meeting discussing plans to protect historic buildings

  • Historic properties from Puerto Rico Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

  • How to nominate historic properties to the Puerto Rico Register of Historic Sites and Zones

A Citizen’s Guide for the Preservation of Architectural Heritage in Puerto Rico

After the devastation of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, an increased number of historic properties has been targeted for demolitions. The reconstruction process, deregulation, the lack of surveys and educational tools have worsened the situation in the last few years. Since the state government does not have the proper resources to oversee and protect the built heritage adequately, preservation and protection of historic buildings had laid in the hands of concerned community leaders, individuals, and community organizations around the islands.

A group of architecture students from the University of Puerto Rico led by Héctor J. Berdecía-Hernández (MSHP'20) developed A Citizen’s Guide for the Preservation of Architectural Heritage in Puerto Rico along with the Puerto Rico State Historic Preservation Office (PRSHPO) and the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture (ICP). The project was developed for the two years and was presented last week in a joint press conference.

The Guide tells the story of Don Chencho and other community leaders organizing to prevent the demolition of an iconic building in their neighborhood. At the time the story unfolds, resources and essential information regarding diverse aspects of preservation from a community perspective are presented to the readers.

A Citizen’s Guide for the Preservation of Architectural Heritage in Puerto Rico aims to serve as an informative and educational tool to help individuals and community organizations to learn about local and national resources for historical research, grants, state and federal agencies, regulations as well how to develop nominations at the local and national level. The guide; which is being translated into the English language, include:

  • Overview of local, state and federal agencies dealing with historic preservation.
  • Overview of the National Register of Historic Places, the nomination process, and eligibility requirements.
  • Contact information for resources including government agencies; local, state and national libraries, archives and non-profits.
  • List of state and federal preservation regulations.

The project’s goal is to educate and provide the necessary basic legal knowledge to protect the built heritage around the islands. A Citizen’s Guide for the Preservation of Architectural Heritage in Puerto Rico is intended to be a critical tool to help community organizations and citizens push forward the preservation field in a post-disaster environment.

The project was recognized last September at the Association for Preservation Technology International-Washington, D.C. Chapter (APT-DC) symposium at Mount Vernon, VA.

A Citizen’s Guide for the Preservation of Architectural Heritage in Puerto Rico is available for free at www.archivoicp.com

 

Featured in:
Elneuvodia.com, "Crean una guía para proteger el patrimonio histórico"
Notiséis 360, "ICP presenta la Guía Ciudadana para la Conservación del Patrimonio Histórico..."
Activo.com, "Ya está disponible la Guía Ciudadana para la Conservación del Patrimonio Histórico" 
El Adoquín Times, "Presentan la Guía Ciudadana para la Conservación del Patrimonio Histórico de Puerto Rico"