Registro Nacional

Nueva Sede Permanente

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Resumen Descriptivo

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
Property NameTemplo del Maestro
Reference Number16000189
StatePuerto Rico
CountySan Juan
TownSan Juan
Street AddressAvenida de Ia Constitución, Parada 8
Multiple Property Submission N/A
StatusListed 4/19/2016
Areas of SignificanceEducation, Social History, Architecture
Link to full file

Templo del Maestro building dates from 1935 and is located in the Puerta de Tierra ward of San Juan and was the first building the Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico raised to house their organization. It represents a distinctive Teacher’s Association headquarters building typology. The building is 90 feet long by 57 feet wide and sits in a 1,357 square meters property across from the south side of Luis Muñoz Rivera Park on the San Juan Islet. The façade’s rich architectural details from the turn of the century Mediterranean Revival style in the Beaux Arts design tradition are singular in the use of Hindu-Moorish arches in the portico combined with neoclassical elements.1 At the entrance of San Juan Islet, the two story concrete building with metal gable roof holds an elegant urban presence at Constitución Avenue. Its setting among the natural gardens of Luis Muñoz Rivera Park is retained from the time of construction even if the neighbors have changed and have partially modified its surroundings. The buildings majestic façade with the elaborate entrance portico and interior spatial sequence preserves its historic integrity.

The site’s boundaries for Templo del Maestro are to the north by Constitución Avenue where the building’s main entrance is located. A high rise apartment building, Millennium Condominium, is to the east of the property the only other property on this block. To the west it bounds with a transversal street named Calle 5 and the south lot border is Calle del Tren where the old railway tracks from the American Railroad Company used to be. It is now a street for the exclusive use of public transportation buses. Behind the building there is a parking lot space and a fenced off area with dense vegetation towards the back of the property. Mature trees are also found in front of the building. A low concrete fence of later design encloses the property line’s front and side around the building area. Recently a cyclone fence was installed on top of the concrete one around property limits. The property is in good condition however being unoccupied has been susceptible to vandalism and graffiti.

Figure 1: Building and site view. Photo by María F. López July, 2015

Figure 1: Building and site view.
Photo by María F. López July, 2015

The concrete building of symmetrical design (Fig. 1) has two stories above ground with an underground basement. The ground floor level is raised seven steps above ground. Measuring about 5,130 square meters, the solid volume is perforated by windows. The building’s eclectic architecture combines elements from the Neoclassical and Moorish Revival styles with a grand entrance portico the most elaborate design feature centered in the composition. The original building area is 361 square meters with a dual pitched hip roof made of triangulated open metal trusses covered in metal sheets and hidden behind the parapet. With a rectangular volume, the building is arranged lengthwise at the front of the lot, the interior space distribution shaped like an ‘H’. There are two main axis one longitudinal expressing the circulation hallway and a transversal axis which defines the entrance portico, vestibule and staircase. Corridors at either side of the central space lead to connecting rooms at the front and back of the building. The enclosed spaces served as office or conference rooms.

Figure 2: Building addition in the side view. Photo by Maria F. López July, 2015

Figure 2: Building addition in the side view.
Photo by Maria F. López July, 2015

The second level’s grand open space was used as an auditorium for large meetings, assemblies, cultural activities or artistic performances. The auditorium was laid out lengthwise with the staircase approach from center back. With later additions (Fig. 2) from the 1960’s are attached to the back and east of the building and being lower than the original do not detract from its presence as shown in the photo below. The later addition may be removed without affecting the original building.

The front façade is detailed with a combination of elements from the Neoclassical and Moorish Revival architectural style. A neoclassical style is expressed in the facades, window moldings and cornice details, while the portico’s composed arches convey the Moorish style. The architecture is consonant with the eclectic and revival styles popular during the first decades of the 20th century. It has a symmetrical distribution with both corners extended from the main structure. The elaborate center portico (Fig. 3) protrudes even further from the rectangle to create an imposing entrance space spanning the two levels. Two sets of Corinthian columns support the second story portico section with the central multilinear archway. Pilasters of the same design complete the entrance portico. Elaborate raised motifs adorn both friezes and cornices above the column capitals. Between both sets of columns and flanking the central arch, false windows are topped by a fanlike motif.

Window arrangements for the front façade (Fig. 4) consist of two sets of tryptic windows at either side of the portico on each level. The façade windows on the second level are more elaborate with pillar design moldings between each, a sill and brackets underneath. The first level windows are rectangular while at the second level are taller with semicircular arches. Molding details throughout the rest of the façade’s first floor windows are simpler in detail. At the second level corner volumes, rectangular windows are enhanced by concrete faux balconette details on the front and side windows. A large entrance double door aligns with the side windows and two smaller doors on each side open to the same space. Above the doors, a Moorish style arch center window is flanked by two semicircular arched rectangular windows. Each of these windows has a simple windowsill protruding from the wall. The building parapet has a cornice with raised designs aligned with the fenestrations and two sets of urns at portico corners. A lamp post at either end of the entrance steps completes the arrangement.

Figure 3 & 4: Side view of the portico and front Facade. Photo by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014 and PRHBDS.

Figure 3 & 4: Side view of the portico and front Facade. Photo by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014 and PRHBDS.

Entrance doorway is flanked with pilasters (Fig. 5) with raised faces and Composite columns under a cornice. An egg and dart molding crowns the frieze. Above it the raised design finishes with a set of urns at the corners and a center leaf design surrounding a bronze medallion with the ‘Tribunal General de Justicia’ logo (Fig. 6) that is of later date. The original medallion for the building was taken down and judging by the trace still visible on the wall there is evidence it was larger.

Figure 5 & 6: View of the entrance doorway and medallion detail. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014.

Figure 5 & 6: View of the entrance doorway and medallion detail. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014.

The original volume’s west side elevation is still unaltered by the later addition. Front corner volume protrudes in this elevation as well as in the front with the same window composition as the second floor featuring another faux balconette. At the west façade two sets of semi-circle arched double windows with simple moldings appear in the second floor next to the extruded portion. Three of the four are solid and only the first is a window with the moldings completing the design. The addition part has a door and a square window on the second bay’s first floor. At basement level a door access outside and a rectangular window is off-centered from the rest of the composition. The last semi-circular arched opening is located at the protruding volume in back, followed by the concrete addition that has a random five window arrangement and one long eve between the first and second floor. The east façade is dominated by the new addition and it has the same windows on the first and second bay from the original structure on the second floor. A door and two added rectangular windows are in the addition portion. The ground floor level has six windows evenly spaced and the basement is a solid wall throughout.

The back elevation starting from the west side on the second level reveals the window composition of the original building that is one semi-circular window opening followed by a set of six semi-circular window arches of three openings and three moldings on the wall in-between to appear as a continuous six window design. On the first level there is a square window followed by a set of four rectangular openings with simple moldings. This is what is visible as the original back of the building since the rest is the later addition that extends to the eastern limit of the building on the second floor and beyond on the ground and basement levels. In general, the addition is made of concrete with three distinct levels with extending parapets on the ground floor and basement. Two rectangular openings exist at each level and the basement with six bays in the central portion. An exterior metal staircase from the ground floor level reaches the parking area at basement level.

Figure 7 & 8: Staircase detail and view from entrance. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014.

Figure 7 & 8: Staircase detail and view from entrance. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014.

The interior staircase (Fig. 7) is an important architectural feature in the central space, visible from the entrance and culminating the sequence. Basically shaped like a ‘T’ (Fig. 8), the first tier is a single run that separates at the main landing and is wider at the start of the tier that curves inward becoming narrower at the central landing. The second flight of stairs occupies a protruding volume in the back. At this point the upward sequence is separated in two symmetrical tiers that lead sideways and up. The first two steps on the second tier are visible from the first floor. There are two mid-level landings with one of them accessing the later addition on the back of the building. Original openwork curved metal railings are capped with wood handrails and wood finials on the first step. The left side is missing the finial. On the second floor the metal railing with curved design becomes a straight wooden balustrade in the central portion.

Still in place, the original entrance door has carving designs (Fig. 9) in the central panel top and a diagonal ridged wood piece at the bottom. Elaborate raised carved wood moldings (Fig. 10) border both center panels above and below.

Figure 9 & 10: Entrance Door Details. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014.

Figure 9 & 10: Entrance Door Details. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios, June 2014.

All windows have wood moldings in place and the semi-circular fanlight glass transom on the second level openings. However, as of this time, the windows lie on the floor inside the building since they were taken down by looters. They are made from wood, double pane jalousie with square shaped glass panel above and a solid wood panel below on the larger windows of the second level. Other windows are double pane wood and glass French style with four individual glass panes each. All windows have a natural wood color finish.

Concrete beams separate the main interior spaces and these are finished with scrolled corbels (Fig. 8). Two medallions are centered in front of the stairs and at the entrance where chandeliers used to be hung from the existing chains. The shadows of moldings appear in the walls of the hallways two thirds of the way up from the floor. Egg and dart moldings complete the wall and ceiling joints all around the first floor spaces. On the second level, the ceiling is missing, exposing the original metal roof structure.

Figure 11 & 12: Terrazzo floors at the portico and on the first floor. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios June 2014.

Figure 11 & 12: Terrazzo floors at the portico and on the first floor. Photos by Guillermo Ortiz Palacios June 2014.

Terrazzo floors are white speckled with different color bases. At the entrance portico (Fig. 11) different tiles make a yellow and green checkered pattern surrounded with continuous pink and terrazzo pieces for the borders all separated by bronze joints. The terrazzo floors inside (Fig. 12) are pink with continuous baseboards and a narrow yellow border on the floor following the contours of the walls. The stairway has the same pink terrazzo floor at all the risers and steps. Judging by the construction details of the terrazzo floor it may be one of the first buildings to have used it in Puerto Rico.

Changes to the building

The cement structure addition at the back of the building continues the line where the staircase volume protrudes on the west side and covers the east side. This addition is two stories plus the basement ending at the start of the cornice on the second level. The structure is made of concrete columns and beams with cement blocks for enclosure. A dilapidating roof covered by metal sheets is supported by a post and beam metal structure. The horizontal rectangular openings have been covered with cement blocks leaving some areas for window openings. Concrete vaults on the basement addition have heavy-duty security bank style metal doors that are currently sealed. It was an addition around the 1960’s at the time the Department of Justice’s Special Investigations Bureau had their headquarters.

The concrete fence was changed evidenced by historic photos (Fig. 13) from the mid 1900’s that show a different design than the current one. However, the existing fence is harmonious with the building since it is made of square posts with pitched caps and openwork design in the center. A raised wreath motif appears at the front of the posts. Openwork concrete designs lay in between solid top and bottom concrete panels. An electrical substation box sits in the front yard to the right of the building. This structure is not original to the site and is incompatible with the building. A separate one story cement structure in a square plan shape in the backyard appears to have been a security guard house of later addition.

Figure 13: Temple’s façade, circa 1950’s in “San Juan then and now”.

Figure 13: Temple’s façade, circa 1950’s in “San Juan then and now”.

Historic photos of the building’s façade from the Inauguration (Fig. 19) show, tracks from the Porto Rico Railway and Light Company that used to pass through Ponce de Léon Avenue in front of Templo del Maestro. A platform was erected in front of the building at street level to let out train passengers. On the outside, the building is currently painted a sky blue color with white for the details and for the moldings. Not having much contrast between the colors, the details are less notable with the current paint palette. According to historic photos below (Fig. 13) circa 1960’s the building’s main volume was painted white and the moldings, cornices and columns painted pink. Smaller details had darker colors enhancing the intricate raised designs. Around this time, the fence was still original however the railway tracks are no longer in place. Lamp posts with three round lamps where altered or replaced and today it has a single lamp. The building has been abandoned for a few years now, vandalism, the removal of windows, has occurred and also graffiti is present on the exterior walls and cement fence.

The interior original structure still preserves the floors, ceiling medallions, cornices and corbels. The subsequent use of the building was compatible with offices but in the second level the changes have been more noticeable. Changes to the interiors include the removal of all the elements that made the space an auditorium including the proscenium, seats, and balustrade divisions. The placement of linoleum floors on top of the original terrazzo floors was most likely due to the removal of auditorium seats. From being bolted to the floor there must have been damage done to them. Some molding details throughout the building’s interior on the second level had been removed because evidence of repairs is visible. Around windows and along the walls there is evidence of removed moldings and cement repairs. Different colors on the wall at the higher portion suggest the installation of ceiling panels of later date when walls were painted the same off-white throughout. Where the original ceiling height was, there is evidence of a piece of original molding still in place where the roof line ended.

Figure 14: Auditorium, Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico, Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico in Album de Oro.

Figure 14: Auditorium, Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico, Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico in Album de Oro.

Left of the photo (Fig. 14) shows a fixed partition consisting of columns, lintel and wood balustrade that separated the staircase landing. The narrow space next to the seating area changed the axis with this element to separate the hallway and direct people to their seats. There was a raised seating area of in the back and this was also separated by the wood balustrades. The finials appear to be the same design as the staircase. The walls had a faux stone finish and contrasting moldings around all the windows and ceiling. The proscenium was detailed and a raised stage had a curtain. Four chandeliers at the corners of the audience seating area added a Moorish accent to the interior that recalls the façade details. The ceiling tiles had texture and a different solid curve design for the back area. Fifteen rows of eight seats on each side for the main audience and about four rows of eight seats would accommodate about 272 people seated.

Statement of Significance Summary Paragraph

Templo del Maestro is associated with significant events for the social and political developments in Puerto Rico. The second level auditorium was the setting from the public hearings of the Hays Commission, held to investigate the events occurred in the Ponce Massacre on the 21st of March 1937. The United States Civil Rights Commission led by Attorney Arthur Garfield Hays from the American Civil Liberties Union delved into freedom violations at the demonstration in Ponce and to the citizens of Puerto Rico in general. As part of the inquiries Inés Muñoz Mendoza defended teaching in the Spanish language to Puerto Rican children who were forced to learn the general school curriculum in a foreign language. The period of significance spans from the date of construction in 1934 to 1942 when it no longer belonged to the Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico. The building is significant at a State level in the areas of education and social history.

The Organization of Social Groups in Puerto Rico

Social organizations in Puerto Rico are the result of civic associations becoming a phenomenon that took place only in the last quarter of the 19th century. They took different forms, usually adopting models of fraternal or charitable institutions concerned with specific social, cultural or labor interests. One of the oldest social groups in the island is the Ateneo Puertoriqueño, founded in 1876 and still existing today. These organizations appear to be the result of three primary factors: a greater complexity of the society at the time; the awareness of groups with shared common identity; and a certain increase of civil liberties by standing powers. Already in 1898, when the change of jurisdiction occurs from Spain to the United States, a number of these organizations existed in categories like fraternal, labor and professional institutions.

This time period also witnessed the emergence of the franc masonic lodges, which by their nature, combined cultural, religious and fraternal elements. For example, the architecture of Freemasonry groups had a preference for loggias which had a significant impact in the urban aesthetics of towns in Puerto Rico. Reference to loggias is relevant in this context by the fact that the building being evaluated was named Temple, whereby the Teacher’s Association used the built expression of Masonic groups as influence for their building. These entities appropriated quite deliberately a neoclassical European architectural vocabulary in order to express part of their beliefs, especially the rational view of the world associated with classical elements and perfect proportions. Sometimes called ‘temples’, the loggias have two main features: an expression in façade that attempts to follow rules of vocabulary, organizing elements and proportions in Greco-Roman-inspired neoclassical style. Secondly, the existence of an interior space for meetings with various platforms and podiums was preferred, where members with hierarchical positions within the lodges, could be located to conduct ceremonies. The oldest loggia building typology in Puerto Rico to house a civil association, that we have knowledge of, is that of ‘Hijos de la Luz’ in Yauco built in 1894.2 Raised during the Spanish regime, the place was designed to express the purpose of harboring a loggia. After the change of sovereignty in 1898, and freedom of belief disseminated, many civil organizations could erect their headquarters, thus multiplying this building typology in Puerto Rico’s towns during the first three decades of the 20th century.

A General Account of Education in Puerto Rico

Education under Spanish rule was limited to grammar schools established early on to specifically teach reading, writing and catechism. While grammar school took place mainly at church, primary education including basic mathematical concepts was left to the parents at home. In 1812, theSpanish Constitution ordered the creation of primary and secondary schools and the required attendance of all children to primary schools. Schools were established at the municipalities around the island. The Bell and Lancaster educational system, which incorporated mutual help between teachers and parents, was planned to be fulfilled by 1820. The plan proposed free schooling for all children from six years old through ten on a schedule of six hours.3 Schoolhouses were usually rented and the money to run the school came from the combined efforts of municipalities, individuals or the church. This practice endured until after the American government was established. Several steps were taken to include more children in the public education system during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The General Plan for Education in Puerto Rico was implemented in 1834 to organize a public system of free education. Separate schools were built for boys and girls after an 1838 initiative to include female teachers in the public education system who had been left out. By the Organic Decree of 1865 governor Félix María Messina ordered the reorganization of the educational system in Puerto Rico dividing the primary school in elemental and superior, making elemental education attendance required for all children up to nine years old. The education of teachers and support for religious schools was addressed in 1880. Another decree that same year, added five schools for male teachers and four schools for female teachers to be educated for three or four years. The graduating classes were to teach at the elementary and high school level.

Public education in Puerto Rico under United States regulation commenced immediately after the Hispanic-American War ended. General Order no. 12 of February 6, 1899 called for a reorganization of the departments of the insular government and a Bureau of Education was formalized under the Department of the Interior with General Eaton as head. The first School Law for Puerto Rico under American government was put in effect July 1, 1899 urging districts to organize and establish public schools. Fees were abolished to provide free schooling and books for all Puerto Rican children ages six to eighteen. The number of pupils per teacher was to be reduced to fifty students and legal salary qualifications were established for the teachers. One of the most important and contended situations from the beginning of these reforms was the expectation that all teachers should learn English and teach in English. As expected, English speaking teachers were preferred for high schools and normal schools even when there was a shortage of them. Local teachers met with resistance because they were used to the education systems used in Spain and France. Since, according to the ordinance, one English teacher whose native tongue is English had to be placed in each town with a graded school, this task was frequently assigned to young men from the American Army. By 1901, fifty teachers from the United States took posts for the Americanization of the people of Puerto Rico.4

An important step in the acquisition of good teachers was the creation of a Normal School and a building to conduct this urgent task. In the absence of a structure, the Governor’s summer Palace in Río Piedras was used for this purpose since construction of a new building would take some time. Soon after Puerto Rico was made a US territory, the Jones Law gave American citizenship to all its inhabitants. Changes took place in the education system in that period of transition after occupation from the Spanish regime to the American government. During this time improvements in the educational system were put into practice and resulted in the boosting of the literacy rate to sixtypercent of the population by 1930 from the twenty percent that it had been under Spain in 1900. Jorge Rigau’s comment is emphatic: “This was a most important period of development for the Island, one of strained relations with the United States, which immediately understood the potential of education as a vehicle for effectively transmitting knowledge, as well as political and social ideas and ideals.”5 A relation between education and the transmission of political and cultural ideals catapulted the building of schools and the training of teachers. Besides the education in English, schools where also teaching how to become an American citizen. “Education, after all, had not being a priority of the Spanish Regime on the island. Few of the eligible children attended school and the when William Hunt took office as Governor of Puerto Rico in 1900, there were just over five hundred school-rooms on the island, inherited from Spain. The illiteracy rate at the time was 79.6 per cent.”6 With population increasing by 346,000 in the next twenty years the need for education facilities was apparent. The number of schools on the island grew from just over 500 to 3,273 as they were built with funds matched by the United States and land provided by the Municipalities or, whenever possible, from private donations.7

Under the Foraker Act in 1900 the unwelcome military government was put to an end and the Department of Education was created. Martín S. Brumbaugh was the appointed Commissioner of Education for Puerto Rico and he wrote to the President of the United States about the immediate need for school-houses. The sum of $200,000 dollars was allocated for building new rural and urban schools around the island. From 1900 to 1910 efforts were concentrated in the rehabilitation and expansion of existing school-houses with a mission to extend the school system, inculcate the teaching of English and Americanize the population. “For Commissioner Brumbaugh, to Americanize meant to transmit to the Puerto Ricans the spirit and ideals of the American people.”8 National holidays were observed along with patriotic exercises in all schools. In all sixteen school districts English supervisors were appointed. At elementary school level English was taught as a separate subject with all other classes being in Spanish. Eventually, the idea was to teach all subjects in all grades in English but this was met with great controversy. Jones Bill gave Puerto Ricans United States citizenship and the change gave Commissioner Paul Miller another reason to teach all subjects in English because Puerto Rican children were now Americans.

The United States government had an aggressive education reform campaign for Puerto Rico that lead to a thriving construction of school buildings around the island. As well as in the States, education reform took center stage to reinforce the importance of creating good American citizens among immigrants. Early 1900’s educational reform by the United States was influential for Puerto Rican society. Private efforts also contributed to improvements on education for the island. All school building and education efforts weather private or public, religious or non-denominational facilitated enormously to boost literacy in a relative short time. The rate went from 79.6 percent illiteracy to 40 percent of the population in thirty years. An increase of 40 percent in the amount of educated people was a vast improvement, especially in an agrarian economy. Even when the efforts to educate had the intention to immerse Puerto Ricans in the American way of life and culture, it was a laudable endeavor which helped educate the population. Education reform also contemplated the preparation of citizens for the workforce. Emphasis was given to the subjects pertaining to science in part by influence of economic programs to diversify the economy and attract industries to the island. As the population continued to grow over the years, schools were added and integrated into more communities. The years following the Great Depression were especially hard for Puerto Rico because two mayor hurricanes devastated the island leaving behind social and economic turmoil. The decade that followed was one of pronounced political changes sprung by the misery experienced by the majority in the country and the relationship with the United States during World War II.

The Organization of Puerto Rico’s Education Professionals

Public education in Puerto Rico becomes an organized entity around 1881 when Governor Eulogio Despujol Dussay, applies the laws recently enacted by Spain and its overseas territories establishing a limited number of primary schools. The teachers of these institutions were generally paid by the municipalities. Difficulties of communication, especially the lack of adequate roads, and the relatively small number of educators, did little to help the formation of organized groups of educators for the remainder of the 19th century, even when there were attempts in more populated areas. After the implementation of a civil Government in 1900 by the United States, the number of teachers grew significantly. As early as 1902 circumstances such as the creation of the normal school for training teachers of the primary level and the provision of a higher budget for construction of educational infrastructure – better payment for teachers and the construction of schools – motivated the formation of organized groups of educators. On April 11, 1911, two of these organizations came together to form the Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico, which since then has been of great influence and standing in the country. The Teacher’s Association was organized as a fraternal organization of education professionals that adopted a Trade Union model. The group supported itself with contributions from educators’ members and voluntary contributions, overseen by a Board of Government, elected every two years.

Figure 15: Aerial photograph detail of Puerta de Tierra from 1937.

Figure 15: Aerial photograph detail of Puerta de Tierra from 1937.

The Teacher’s Association acquired by purchase the parcel (Fig. 15) destined for their building on August 18, 1921 when Gerardo Sellés Solá was president of the organization. At this time the lot was described as urban, measuring 40 meters long by 22 meters deep for a total of 880 square meters. Guillermo Esteves was Commissioner of the Department of the Interior and by Legislature resolution number 16 the segregated public land parcel was sold in August 1921 to the Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico represented by its president Fulgencio Piñero Rodríguez.9

A new building for the Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico

For a time, the new Teacher’s Association had nomadic headquarters, but after ten years of its establishment, the construction of a permanent building was proposed. The building program consisted of areas for administrative offices, an area for activities and to host large meetings. The acquisition of a plot of 1,341.20 square meters was made on the South side of the main highway Ponce de León Avenue (today Constitution Avenue) near the southeast corner of Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera. The park was nearing completion at the time. The complete lot used to be a parcel of 11,022.80 square meters the street towards the south was in construction after the train system was dismantled in 1958 transforming the tracks into a road. In 1901 the parcel was described as rustic bordering the waters of San Antonio stream, lands from the People of Puerto Rico, and land from the old prison and the factory from the American Tobacco Company.10

Once the parcel was secured in 1925, it was subsequently entrusted to architect Joseph O’ Kelly (Fig. 16) to create a design for a building that was later named Templo del Maestro. Engineer Gabriel Martínez Guzmán was the builder and is seen here (Fig. 17) on the left handing the keys to President Fulgencio Piñero at the Temple’s inauguration ceremony.

Figure 16 & 17: The architect Joseph O'Kelly, ( and Gabriel Martínez Guzmán, right (in Puerto Rico Illustrado, April 6, 1935).

Figure 16 & 17: The architect Joseph O’Kelly, ( and Gabriel Martínez Guzmán, right (in Puerto Rico Illustrado, April 6, 1935).

Architect Joseph O’Kelly, the son of a Puerto Rican mother and an American father who came to live and work in Puerto Rico around 1924 was born in New York in 1890 He spent part of his early youth in Mexico when his father was a trader and shareholder in shipping companies. He graduated in 1915 from the Philadelphia Drexel Institute of Engineering and Architecture at Columbia University in New York.11 From graduation to the year 1923 O’Kelly worked in architectural offices in New York. He arrived in Puerto Rico around 1924 to register as an employee for the Department of the Interior and participate in several major projects that were occurring in Puerto Rico at the time. One of the most notable buildings he worked on that year was the design and construction drawings for the Capitol building in Puerta de Tierra under the direction of Architect Rafael Carmoega.12 For eleven years he designed as an architect of the Government many school buildings, some for the School of Tropical Medicine and projects under Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration. In 1931 he left working for the Government and was dedicated to his private office. The Klein’s Building for the New York Department Store, a structure located on the South side of Plaza de Armas in Old San Juan was finished during this year. He designed a number of commercial buildings, private residences and residential buildings in the metropolitan area after establishing in 1946 his architectural firm O’Kelly & Méndez until 1960 when architect Carl Brunner was added as principal to the firm.13

The known work of this period by O’Kelly is experimental using concrete in the recognized neoclassical style along with elements of the Spanish Revival Style, much like other architects of the time Rafael Carmoega and Pedro de Castro Besosa. The Church of the Sacred Heart in Santurce is designed using the California Mission Style of austere facade walls with detailed entrances and elements. An expansion he did for the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel by Warren & Wetmore, that no longer exists, tried to mimic the Spanish Revival Style of the original. O’Kelly also experimented with the new, more geometric Art Deco, but he limited the use of the style to theatres he designed for the cinema entrepreneur Teódulo Llamas. Among the best-known are the Matienzo Theater (today Francisco Arriví Theater), and the adjacent Music Hall (today Victoria Espinosa Theater). These two movie theaters are today used by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña as theatres for artistic events.

Construction and Inauguration of the Templo del Maestro Building

Joseph O’Kelly was approached by the Teacher’s Association years prior to the construction of the building, and while the records studied in the archives of the Association are not explicit, it seems that this project was designed in the initial years of his private practice, between 1931 and 1934. The Templo del Maestro was built during the year of 1934 since it was inaugurated on March 29 of 1935, while Mr. Fulgencio Piñero was president of the organization. The organization needed spaces for offices, archives, a library, museum of education and a large area for assembly meetings. All administration rooms were distributed in the first level except for the meeting hall which occupied completely the second level.

Remarkable is the fact that the Association members with such tenacity raised the funds needed for the construction especially when they were working women for the most part. To achieve it they held fundraisers and contributed themselves to the endeavor. Since 1924, they allocated the funds for the construction of their headquarters and never touched or diverted them for other purposes so they would be available for the project when it was time to use for the construction. By 1925 in an article at the Porto Rico Scholar Review the general treasurer declares that the sum of $16,085.86 was in a deposit account for the construction of the temple at the American Colonial Bank.14 By December 1926 the funds for the temple had grown to $28,869.40 as informed by the treasury in the Porto Rico School Review journal.15 In May 14, 1925 the Joint Resolution form the Legislature gave a parcel of land for one dollar in a deed of sale for the purpose of establishing their headquarters building of no more than $50,000 within the next five years. The property was to be used for 25 years by the association at which time the land shall revert to the People of Puerto Rico.16

Figure 18: Aerial photograph from 1962.

Figure 18: Aerial photograph from 1962.

O’Kelly’s Templo del Maestro completes the monumental side of the stretch of Puerta de Tierra off the main highway at the time named Ponce de León Avenue, occupying the last prominent place (Fig. 19) before reaching the bridge over Caño de San Antonio. Like other buildings in the area, it responds to the primary axis of the road that serves as access. The lengthwise oriented façade announced a distinguished projection of the organization that was represented by the building. The design of the temple evokes a very feminine aesthetic in a public use building and one can imagine the architect’s inspiration in the women who made it happen. The traditional neoclassic French style with the Moorish influence is fitting in this case for the building represented a guild that is traditionally associated with women.

Figure 19: Façade of the building at the date of inauguration in Puerto Rico Illustrado, April 6, 1935.

Figure 19: Façade of the building at the date of inauguration in Puerto Rico Illustrado,
April 6, 1935.

As expected, the members of the Teacher’s Association where extremely proud of their finished building (Fig. 19) since it had been a great collective effort. Stated in the press was an inauguration act of great enthusiasm and extraordinary display. Therefore, the Building’s inauguration was celebrated with pomp and circumstance as was customary at the time for such a dignified building. Photos in the newspapers of the time show a large, mostly female audience

Figure 20: Teachers in attendance at the inauguration of their temple, Puerto Rico Illustrado, April 6, 1935.

Figure 20: Teachers in attendance at the inauguration of their temple, Puerto Rico Illustrado, April 6, 1935.

(Fig. 20) in attendance which is expected since teaching was accepted as a female occupation at this time. Among the figures who took part at the opening for displaying their talent were members of the renowned Figueroa family of musicians and the young Leopoldo Santiago Lavandero, an important theater figure in Puerto Rico. The passing of the keys ceremony was between the engineer Gabriel Martínez Guzmán and President Fulgencio Piñero. The inaugural speech was given by Lawyer José Coll y Cuchí, who had been leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Movement. Press articles of the time are testaments of the enthusiastic feeling of the activity and the high ranking figures present. Governor of Puerto Rico Blanton Winship, Legislators, past presidents of the Teacher’s Association, Bishop Byrne, Commissioner of Public Education Benítez Castaño, Dr. José Padin Cabinet member and members of the magistrate from all over the island were in attendance.17 In his speech, Dr. Padin enthusiastically talks about the Islands loss of a transient existence with the creation of permanent buildings of solid materials to house families and institutions.

Author Arleen Pabón Charneco classifies the building’s style belonging to the baroque of the second empire. It is part of the eclectic style within the architectural revival movement of the first decades of the turn of the 20th century. She argues that the neo Arabic elements add elegance and sophistication to the composition.18 The baroque of the second empire with its classical elements and rich decorations conjured images of luxury, elegance and refinement associated with everything that was French. The use of the style in the temple evoked a clear message of sophisticated culture, the members of the Teacher’s Association wanted to project.

It is important to note Dr. Padin’s statement refers to a time when the majority of structures in the island were made of wood and other less permanent materials. There was an emergence of concrete buildings in the San Juan area indicating that organizations sought a more permanent presence and this was expressed by the use of concrete. Like Templo del Maestro, the notable Casa de España a Spanish Revival building for a civil association promoting Spanish culture was finished the same year. School buildings of cement construction where making a dignified appearance too in Puerto Rico’s towns. Moreover, it was only fitting that the teachers in Puerto Rico also had a notable building to represent them as a professional guild. The moment coincides with the United States Government educational campaign for the island to instruct Puerto Rican children to be good American citizens and members of society. As part of this education campaign the construction of schools also produced some of the most handsome buildings in Puerto Rico.

In addition to yearly assemblies and activities at the new building, Teacher’s Association celebrated in February 19 and 20, 1937 the 25th silver anniversary of its establishment with discourses, music and poetry. The Templo del Maestro Building served, not only for meetings and internal activities of the Association, but also to host other cultural and social events. The large meeting auditorium that could sit 300 people was available for rent and this type of space was unusual in the San Juan area at the time.

Significant Events at the Templo del Maestro

In addition to serving as a social and cultural space, the prevailing event of great historical importance on social issues for Puerto Rican citizens held at Templo del Maestro was the hearings held by the United States Civil Rights Commission in May of 1937. The event was coordinated by Attorney Arthur Garfield Hays of the American Civil Liberties Union in the United States urged by Luis Muñoz Marín and a group of civilians from Ponce. Fulgencio Piñero, who had been President of the Association, was one of the members of the investigation committee. This points as to why the teacher’s temple was the scene of such transcendental inquiry. The Public Hearings of the United States Civil Rights Commission were momentous for their impact in the wake of the Ponce Massacre as it came to be known the killings at a Nationalist group in peacefully demonstration on the streets of the town of Ponce who were denied permission to gather hours previous to the event. In view of the deplorable events that occurred in Ponce in March 21, 1937 with 19 deaths and 200 people wounded.

The demonstration was a Nationalist celebration for the Abolition of Slavery and a protest for the incarceration of Pedro Albizu Campos leader of the Nationalist Party.19 This event in Puerto Rican history left profound dissatisfaction and unrest with the way the police and US Governor Blanton Winship handled the protest and the aftermath of the incident. As a result the Hays Commission, led by Arthur Garfield Hays from the American Civil Liberties Union, was created to investigate the violation of freedom of the events leading to and culminating with the Ponce Massacre. To investigate what really happened that day in Ponce and to prevent such things from happening again, a report in the form of public hearings took place gathering prominent citizens of Puerto Rico in a nonpartisan and all partisan commission. The hearings become an opportunity for the public to denounce civil rights violations on account of their political beliefs that are isolated but also related to the political persecutions on independence aspirations by the US Government in Puerto Rico.

Investigations started in Ponce on May 14 to 18 of 1937 and moved to San Juan from the 20th and 21st of May at the Templo del Maestro. The report was made public the next day at Plaza Baldorioty de Castro in San Juan. Luis Muñoz Marín, an emerging political figure, began the depositions for the initial approach to the Civil Liberties Union, and his involvement in the Hays Committee per se. Muñoz used the opportunity to denounce the suppression of independence ideology by Puerto Ricans among other political issues of the country. The investigation made clear that the events in Ponce had indeed been a massacre because of the denial from Governor Winship to hold a demonstration and the subsequent police abuse of the citizens’ civil rights.20

Parallel to the civil rights violation issues a denunciation was made by high school teacher Inés Mendoza Palacios, who concluded the testimonies of the Hays Committee hearings in defense of teaching in Spanish to young Puerto Rican children. Inés Mendoza commenced her speech by condemning the use of a foreign language to teach the basic curriculum of mathematics, science, history, and such because it causes “real injury” to a child’s mind and hinders his ability to learn. Puerto Rican children, she understands, are confused when taught in English, since it’s foreign to them and this becoming a disadvantage in the learning process and character formation at an early age. She was questioned by Garfield Hays about the issue in connection with civil liberties to what she made the link between education and political interests. 21 For speaking her mind at this deposition, she was fired from her position as teacher at Central High School without factual accusation or a hearing to defend herself. Reasons were not given for not renewing her contract since it was probably the threat she embodied as a public system teacher who opposed the teaching in the English language. Even when Prof. Mendoza was a Spanish teacher and was not in charge of any other subject, she was punished for her views on education and for speaking at the Hay Committee hearings. It was a clear political effort to suppress free and independence thought in reaction to protests from students with Nationalist ideals.

The Mendoza case was distressing to the Teacher’s Association as well because it set a precedent for other teacher’s to be deprived of their jobs because of their beliefs. Prevailing public mechanisms for renewing contracts and retaining their jobs were discovered to be uncertain at their core. Mendoza was an exemplary teacher and this was usually enough to renew a teacher’s contract. The Teacher’s Association fully backed Inés Mendoza in this case in an extraordinary meeting on June 19, 1937 and it was suggested the Association’s president, Fulgencio Piñero write to the President Roosevelt to clarify the issue.22 Inés was never restituted as teacher and her license was suspended indefinitely. Her defense of teaching in the Spanish language was mixed with Nationalist independence ideals evidenced by an answering letter she received from Eleanor Roosevelt. She found her talents better used in promoting education in a broader scale, later and throughout her life, as First Lady of Puerto Rico, wife of Governor Luis Muñoz Marín. In the Hays Committee as in the Mendoza issue the Teacher’s Association played an important role and the Templo del Maestro building served as background to these events.

Among other events that transpire in the building is the Teacher’s Association intervention in response to two Puerto Rican teachers that could not leave Spain in the middle of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Between 1930 and 40 important legislation in favor of teachers protection thought the 1938 the law establishing stability for teachers, the permanence law known today. The law for twelve salaries was approved making teachers full time employees even when out of classes during summer months. A meeting of the Federación Libre de los Trabajadores de Puerto Rico in 1948 was held at the Templo del Maestro as well.23

Subsequent custodians of the building as it changes hands

As a place for meetings and professional interactions of Puerto Rican teachers, the building Templo del Maestro barely served about seven years. A second inscription from 1941 at the Deeds Registry describes building on the property (measuring 28.40 meters by 14.10 meters with a salient portico with Corinthian columns of 9 by 5 meters) prior to the sale. In 1945 while Luis Muñoz Souffront was president of the Association the property was sold again to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for $73,081 represented by Orlando R. Meléndez, Commissioner of the Department of the Interior. The Teacher’s Association was compensated for the value of the building since the land was ceded to them is a deed of sale for $1. Notary Manuel Iriarte Miró wrote the deed the 15th of November 1941. The Association only had legal authority to use the land for ten years according to the original inscription. It was certified by Ernesto Valneares who was the accounting secretary of the Teacher’s Association acting according to the Assembly celebrated during the 26, 27 and 28 of December 1944. The sale of the property was done by Notary Manuel Iriarte thought affidavit number 9,605 in San Juan, Puerto Rico dated November 10, 1945.24 The Teacher’s association moved to a property in the Hato Rey ward of San Juan that had a wooden house and where later, in the 1970’s, built the office complex the Teacher’s Association have occupied since.

The property was then used by the United States Military as a recreational facility for those residing in the nearby Naval Base of Isla Grande facility since it was adjacent to it. After the war the building changed hands as the headquarters of the Commission of Parks and Recreation, the predecessor of the current Puerto Rico Department of Sports and Recreation. This place was chosen for its proximity to the main facilities of the branch in San Juan, Luis Muñoz Rivera Park and Sixto Escobar Stadium. Later, the Templo del Maestro building was occupied by the government’s criminal investigation branch, the Bureau of Special Investigations of the Department of Justice. These two governmental agencies that occupied the building were the ones responsible for the additions post- 1960 and these were made for utilitarian purposes. The lack of space in the original building for different programmatic uses made it necessary to expand in order to facilitate the functions of the agencies that settled there. In particular, the vaults in the basement seem to have been configured, for security reasons, during the building’s tenure by the Bureau of Special Investigations. Upgrades made in the last 50 years have affected the readability of the side façades and have eliminated the original landscaping nevertheless; the readability of the main facade of the building has been, fortunately, the least affected.

The lot to the east of Templo del Maestro property was segregated according to Deeds Registry inscription in November 1960 into a parcel of 6,653 square meters belonging then to the Department of Transportation. By the mid 1990’s the custodian of the property was the Industrial Development Company of Puerto Rico (PRIDCO) when the parcel was sold to a private developer in 1995 to build Millennium Condominium.25 When the condominium was finished a few years later it changed the scale of the lot making this high raise a more prominent building at the entrance of San Juan Islet and relegating Templo del Maestro building to a reduced presence in the vicinity. As well the high speed of Constitución Avenue makes the building less noticeable by car along with the tall trees in front. Today this city block is not a pedestrian friendly area thus changing the urban scale relationship between passer-buys and building from the way it used to be when constructed.

By the year 2000, with reforms aimed at consolidating the functions of the Department of Justice in the nearby area of Miramar in Santurce, the building was vacated and since then has not been used. It has been recently passed to the Municipality of San Juan with plans to be destined for offices of the Supreme Court changing hands again and expected to be rehabilitated in a manner as its historic and architectural significance deserves.

Templo del Maestro Building preserves to this day, location, materials and design elements from the year 1934, when it was built. The setting for the building has been partially modified through the decades because its neighbors have changed. However the site retains its place as one of the more elaborate buildings along Constitución Avenue. Surrounding vegetation and the Luis Muñoz Rivera Park keep the balance between natural gardens and architecture as was intended with the original design. The building retains all its walls, original metal roof, distinctive architectural elements, details and spatial sequences that can be understood from the time of construction. In general Templo del Maestro has a high level of integrity and the changes to the site and additional structures do not detract from the understanding of the original volume and can be removed without damaging it. Feeling and association of the building with significant events also preserve its integrity for the imposing façade and volume still conveys through its architectural features the dignified building that the Teacher’s Association created to house their organization.

Notas al calce

1 Arleen Pabón Charneco, “A Place of Memories and Meanings: A 1910 -1939 Historic Context”, Second Phase General Reconnaissance Puerta de Tierra, San Juan de Puerto Rico, State Historic Preservation Office, San Juan, 2015

2 Héctor F. Santiago Cazull, Logia Masónica Hijos de la Luz, national Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Puerto Rico State Historic Preservation Office, April 1988.

3 Ángela López Borrero, “Mi Escuelita: educación y arquitectura en Puerto Rico” (San Juan: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico) 2005, p. 13-15.

4 Aida Negrón de Montilla, Americanization in Puerto Rico, and the public school system, 1900-1930, (Río Piedras, P.R.: Editorial Edil) 1970, p. 8-11.

5 Jorge Rigau, “Puerto Rico 1900, Turn-of-the-Century Architecture in the Hispanic Caribbean 1890-1930” (New York: Rizzoli) 1992, p. 143.

6 Ibid, p. 142.

7 AGPR, Fondo: Obras Públicas, Serie: Edificios Escolares, Caja 1187, Legajo 320, Exp. 62.

8 Aida Negrón de Montilla, “Americanization in Puerto Rico, and the public school system, 1900-1930”, (Río Piedras, P.R.: Editorial Edil) 1970, p. 239-240.

9 Deeds Registry of San Juan, Section I Puerta de Tierra, Finca 264, volume 14, folio 12, first inscription, May 14, 1925.

10 Ibid.

11 A biographical sketch made by architect Efraín Pérez Chanis is used for relevant data on Joseph O’Kelly and has been identified in “Algunos Arquitectos de Miramar”, Joseph O’ Kelly. Material reseñado con autorización de AACUPR y la OECH. 5 abril 2013,

12 Grupo Editorial EPRL, Puerto Rico Enciclopedia, San Juan: Construction of the Puerto Rico Capitol, September 13, 2010,

13 Aida Belén Rivera Ruiz, San Juan Medical Arts Building, documentación histórica, 24 febrero 2014.

14 The Porto Rico School Review, articles by Gerardo Sellés Solá, Vol. 9 no. 5, Whole no. 81, January 1925, p. 34-35.

15 The Porto Rico School Review, Section Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, Vol. 11 no. 5, Whole no. 81, January 1927.

16, “Laws of Porto Rico” in Laws and Resolutions, 11th Legislature of Puerto Rico Assembly , Joint Resolution No. 16 of May 14, 1925, p. 1020.

17 Puerto Rico Ilustrado, April 6, 1935, p. 32

18 Pabón Charneco, Arleen. La arquitectura patrimonial puertorriqueña y sus estilos. San Juan: Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica, Oficina del Gobernador, 2010, p. 295.

19 Manuel E. Moraza Ortiz, “La Masacre de Ponce”, San Juan: Publicaciones Puertorriqueñas Editores, 2001

20 Carmelo Rosario Natal, “Luis Muñoz Marín, Arthur Garfield Hays y la Masacre de Ponce: Una relación documental inédita”, San Juan: Universidad Interamericana, 2010. <>

21 Rosario Natal, Carmelo. “Inés María Mendoza y la batalla del idioma (cartas)”. San Juan: Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín, 1990, pp. 19-23.

22 Ruiz Rivera, Eloy A. Discusión del caso de la maestra Inés Mendoza de Palacios en la Junta de Directores de la Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, Unedited essay, 2015

23 Ruiz-Rivera, Eloy Antonio and Nilda García Santiago. “Un siglo de lucha educativa: legado histórico de la Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico”, San Juan: Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, 2012

24 Deeds Registry of San Juan, Section I Puerta de Tierra, Finca 264, volume 14, folio 12, second inscription.

25 Deeds Registry of San Juan, Section I Puerta de Tierra, Finca 48, volume 2, folio 36.

Major Bibliographic References


Archivo General de Puerto Rico
Fondo: Obras Públicas, Serie: Edificios Escolares
Teacher’s Association of Puerto Rico Archives, Hato Rey
Deeds Registry of San Juan, Section I Puerta de Tierra

Fotogrametría, Centro Gubernamental Minillas

Templo del Maestro drawings from students at the School of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, ArqPoli Fall 2014 course ARCH-3010 with Prof. Mercé Martínez. Students: Laureana A. Alemán, Camila López, Paola Monserrate, Christian Vázquez.


“Algunos Arquitectos de Miramar”, Joseph O’ Kelly. Material reseñado con autorización de AACUPR y la OECH. 5 abril 2013,

Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, Bodas de Plata, Program for 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Inauguration of the Puerto Rico Teacher’s Association, San Juan: Archives from the Teacher’s Association, 1937.

de Hostos, Adolfo. Tesauro de datos históricos, Tomo V. Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, 1995.

Domínguez Nieves, Antonio. “Informe de la tesorería y auditoría”, The Porto Rico School Review, Vol. 11 no. 5, Whole no. 81, January 1927

Georás, Anna L. (CARIMAR). Inventario de Recursos Arquitectónicos. Oficina Estatal de Preservación Histórica, Oficina del Gobernador, San Juan, 1987.

González Vales, Flores, Sepúlveda Rivera, Alvaréz Curbelo and Bird Carmona. “San Juan the city that grew beyond its walls”, National Park Service, 2006 González Ginorio, José. “El Templo del Maestro” El Mundo, 29 de Marzo de 1935 Colección Puertorriqueña, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Grupo Editorial EPRL, Puerto Rico Enciclopedia, San Juan: Construction of the Puerto Rico Capitol, September 13, 2010,

Haneman, John Theodore. “Pictorial Encyclopedia of Historic Architectural Plans Details and Elements”, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1984

Harris, Cyril M. “Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture”, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1977

Hernández, Óscar. San Juan then and now (Entonces y Ahora). San Diego, California: Salamander Books, Thunder Bay Press, 2013.

“La Inauguración del Templo del Maestro” Puerto Rico Ilustrado, 6 de Abril 1935, Colección Puertorriqueña, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

“Laws of Porto Rico” in Laws and Resolutions, 11th Legislature of Puerto Rico Assembly Joint Resolution No. 16 of May 14, 1925.

López Borrero, Ángela. “Mi Escuelita: educación y arquitectura en Puerto Rico” (San Juan: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico) 2005.

“Los Maestros de Puerto Rico inauguraron ayer su templo”, El Mundo, 30 de Marzo de 1935, Colección Puertorriqueña, Universidad de Puerto Rico Río Piedras

Medina Vázquez, Raúl. Verdadera Historia de la Masacre de Ponce. Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Ponce, 2001.

Mignucci, Andrés. Parque Muñoz Rivera y el Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico, Rama Judicial de Puerto Rico, San Juan, 2011.

Monteagudo, Antonio y Antonio Escamez. Álbum de Oro de Puerto Rico. Artes Gráficas S.A., La Habana, 1939.

Moraza Ortiz, Manuel E. La Masacre de Ponce, Hato Rey: Publicaciones Puertorriqueñas, 2001

National Register Bulletin; How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, National Register of Historic Places, Washington D.C., 1995.

National Register Bulletin; How to Complete the National Register Registration Form. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, National Register of Historic Places, Washington D.C., 1997.

Negrón de Montilla, Aida. “Americanization in Puerto Rico, and the public school system 1900-1930”, (Río Piedras, P.R.: Editorial Edil) 1970

O’Donnell, Eleanor. Researching a Historic Property. National Register Bulletin, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, National Register of Historic Places, Washington D.C., 1998.

Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica. Inventario de Recursos Arquitectónicos de Puerto Rico, Inventario de Puerta de Tierra. Oficina del Gobernador, San Juan, 1987.

Pabón Charneco, Arleen. “A Place of Memories and Meanings: A 1910 -1939 Historic Context”, Second Phase General Reconnaissance Puerta de Tierra, San Juan de Puerto Rico, State Historic Preservation Office, San Juan, 2015

Pabón Charneco, Arleen. “La arquitectura patrimonial puertorriqueña y sus estilos”, Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica, Oficina del Gobernador, San Juan, 2010.

Programa de Registro Nacional. Guía General para Preparar Propuestas. Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica, Oficina del Gobernador, San Juan, 2014. Programa de Registro Nacional. Guía para Propuestas. Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica, Oficina del Gobernador, San Juan, 2014.

Rigau, Jorge. “Puerto Rico 1900, Turn-of-the-Century Architecture in the Hispanic Caribbean 1890-1930” (New York: Rizzoli) 1992

Rivera Ruiz, Aida Belén. San Juan Medical Arts Building, documentación histórica, 24 febrero 2014.

Rosado, Marisa. “Pedro Albizu Campos: Las Llamas de la Aurora” San Juan: Ediciones Puerto, 2008.

Rosario Natal, Carmelo. “Inés María Mendoza y la batalla del idioma (cartas)”. San Juan: Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín, 1990.

Rosario Natal, Carmelo. “Luis Muñoz Marín, Arthur Garfield Hays y la Masacre de Ponce: Una relación documental inédita” San Juan: Universidad Interamericana, <>

Ruiz Rivera, Eloy A. Discusión del caso de la maestra Inés Mendoza de Palacios en la Junta de Directores de la Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, Unedited essay, 2015

Ruiz-Rivera, Eloy Antonio and Nilda García Santiago. “Un siglo de lucha educativa: legado histórico de la Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico”, San Juan: Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, 2012 Sellés Solá, Gerardo, “Templo del Maestro” in The Porto Rico School Review, Vol. 9 no. 5, Whole no. 81, January 1925.

Sepúlveda Rivera, Aníbal. Puerto Rico Urbano: Atlas histórico de la ciudad puertorriqueña, Vol. 1-4. CARIMAR y Departamento de Transportación y Obras Públicas, San Juan, 2004.

Sepúlveda Rivera, Aníbal. San Juan: Historia Ilustrada de su desarrollo urbano1508-1898, Centro de Investigaciones CARIMAR, 1989

Sepúlveda Rivera, Aníbal y Jorge Carbonell. Cangrejos – Santuce: Historia Ilustrada de su desarrollo urbano1519- 1950, Centro de Investigaciones CARIMAR, 1987

Sepúlveda Rivera, Aníbal y Jorge Carbonell. San Juan Extramuros, Iconografía para su estudio. Oficina Estatal de Preservación Histórica y CARIMAR, San Juan, 1990.

Templo del Maestro, Dibujos Edificios en Puerta de Tierra, Curso ARCH3010, ArqPoli, Prof. Merce Martínez, estudiantes: Camila López, Lareana A. Alemán, Paola Monserrate y Christian Vázquez.

Torres Rivera, Johnny. “El Templo del Maestro” Puerta de Tierra – San Juan. 5 abril 2013.

Alt Text

Temple’s façade, circa 1960’s in “San Juan then and now ”.

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