The Nicolás Aguayo Aldea Vocational School, located in the municipality of Caguas, is one of several structures developed during the first decades of the 20th century. This initiative in education and construction was a response to the United States government’s desire to promote the economy through construction and to continue a policy of Americanization.
The construction of the structure, which dates from 1939, was under the direction of the engineering firm of Lizardi y Díaz Diez. Originally it served as an elementary school, and in the 1960s, it became a middle school. Its art deco style was part of the movement toward creating something new and breaking with the patterns established up to that time. The facades present Egyptian and Mayan motifs, such as zigzag lines and terracing, as well as horizontal and curved elements.
Horizontal lines dominate the two-story school and are only interrupted by a vertical space in the entrance. This portion of the building presents an interaction of planes and curves composed of balconies, eaves, and both vertical and horizontal textures. The elements scale upward until they culminate in a lantern with concentric circular planes and a peak.
The building is still in use today, as a vocational school. In 1988 it was added to the United States Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.
Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Catalog of Properties, National Register of Historic Sites, State Office of Historic Conservation, Office of the Governor, 1995.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: January 08, 2010.
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