Concrete Construction in Puerto Rico between the Wars [1898-1945]
During the 2008-2009 Academic Year the Architectural Conservation Laboratory of the School of Architecture of the University of Puerto Rico (Arqpoli) and the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) continued their collaboration through a standing Cooperative Agreement, in the study of Concrete Construction in Puerto Rico between the Wars (1898-1945). The reason for this are that local concrete structures from these early periods have not been systematically investigated and/or documented and presently need preservation in the form of contemporary solutions to their problems. Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States after the Spanish American War of 1898, and with this change came the importation of building technologies brought by Protestant religious groups and the military as well as prototypes for schools and housing, which affected local building means and methods. Students carried out historic research, documented the existing conditions of specific cement block and reinforced concrete structures from the early 20th century, and learned to use non-destructive technologies in order to provide the diagnosis and propose appropriate repair methods for these historic buildings.