The Eleuterio Derkes School is located in the municipality of Guayama. It was one of the hundreds of schools built as part of the United States government’s plans to improve the island’s educational system, which was part of an extensive program of Americanization.
Construction began in 1908 under the direction of San Juan contractor Antonio Higuera, who was head of the Division of School Buildings under the commissioner of education during the first decade of the 20th century.
The structure consists of a C-shaped design. The façade, though simple, displays neo-classical elements. The building is raised on a podium and the main entrance is marked by a staircase, a pair of pilasters, and a pediment. There are three windows on each side with detailing that resembles a flat-topped arch. On each end of the building is a pavilion. The entire building is ringed by a cornice.
The ceilings in the interior of the structure are made of wood. The details of the ornamentation used on this building were repeated in many other schools on the island until the 1920s.
The school has been listed on the United States Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places since 1988 and is still used today as a school for children with disabilities.
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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