Time in Mayagüez: Now and then.

By: Alexa Nazario Rivera and Fernando Vargas Hernández

Mayagüez City Hall


The City Hall of the municipality of Mayagüez in the 1900s and 2014 respectively, still containing a main entrance emphasized by an imposing portico, and a tower with a clock. The first building was built in the 1845, and was destroyed by the earthquake of 1918 and reconstructed in 1926 when Juan Rullán Rivera was mayor. The original building housed the municipal offices, a jail, a telegraph station and the guard corps.

Mayagüez Local Theather


The local Theater in 1889 and a local building in 2014. The theater was built in 1889, and so decorated that it was known as “the Cake”, soon to be destroyed by the earthquake of 1918. Today the space is shared between The Salvation Army and Popular Bank.

Mayagüez Asylum


The Mayagüez Asylum for the poor in 1979 and 2014 containing a portico that consist of four Ionian columns that serve as the entrance balcony. Between 1972 and 1979 the asylum underwent alterations that transformed some of its original features. However, Betances Street building remains a landmark in Mayagüez.

Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Church


The “Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria” Cathedral in 1922 and 2014 which, besides the difference in architecture, still resembles the original construction, now containing two octagonal towers contained three doors with pointed arches and a fourth Gothic arch on the portico. The first Church at the current site was made of wood and was built in 1763, only three years after the city was founded. The remodeled cathedral reopened on January 1st, 2004, and counted with the participation of representatives of the Vatican.

Old Casino


The Antiguo Casino of Mayagüez located alongside the central cathedral in 1918 and 2014. The Casino was founded in 1874 under the Freedom of Association of 1873, during the Spanish rule in Puerto Rico. Today it is the oldest continuously operating sociocultural institution on the island and it still serves the purpose for which it was build: to provide the people a space for holding social events.

Plaza Colón


The Plaza Colón of Mayagüez after 2014 and 1918 containing a statue of Christopher Columbus in the center. The bronze statue was placed in 1896 to celebrate the 402 anniversary of the discovery of Puerto Rico. Before that date the square, which lands were designated in 1760, was used as a center for selling products. The plaza was reformed in 1841 and 1920 because of natural disasters, intervened in 1945, 1956 and 1966; but it was not until 2005, as part of the plan to revitalize the town that it was restored and its appearance was enhanced again, adding new structures in bronze, such as the guardians of the main statue.

Presbisterian Church


The Presbyterian Church of Mayagüez after 1903 and 2014 after the period of industrialization. The Presbyterian Church was built in 1903 which became the first Presbyterian Church in Puerto Rico after the agreements between American Protestant churches from 1898. The church’s design is considered one of the most important redone architectures in the city after the earthquake of 1918, and is amongst the few institutional buildings located in Mayaguez that withstood the strong earthquakes that destroyed much of the city in 1918.

Episcopal Church and College San Andrés


The Episcopal Church and San Andrés school in during the 1900’s and 2014. The school was one of the firsts and most prestigious schools in Mayagüez. Though it was the pioneer school in the decade it was mostly for girls.

India Brewery


The India Brewery in 2014 and 1938 maintaining much of its original architecture. The brewery was founded in 1937 by Alfonso Valdés and in 2003 his grandaughter Camila Valdés took the presidency of the company. In 2011, the company managed to solidify and maintain leadership with Medalla Light and Malta India; with the strength of its products, this brewer is the number one beer manufacturing on the island, with 35.5 percent of the total market share.

García Méndez Post Office


The Miguel Angel Garcia Mendez Post Office Building in 1940 and 2014 maintains its active duty. This Post Office was built in 1935 and is previously known as the United States Post Office and Courthouse, and the Mailing Center of Mayagüez . It was not until 2007, where the U.S. Congress passed a bill renaming the building for statesman and local government figure Miguel A. García Méndez.

College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts


The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus 1911 and 2014. The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) was created in 1903 with its only campus being in Río Piedras; it wasn’t until 1911 when the Mayagüez campus was established as College of Agriculture and Mecanic Arts (CAAM). The University was known as CAAM for over 50 years and in 1966 its name was changed to Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez, second in size and only campus that offers a School of Agriculture and Marine Sciences graduate program in Puerto Rico.

Saint Mary’s Hospital


Saint Mary’s Hospital between 1930-1950 and 2014 located near the Monzón building; originally was a private clinical hospital of the family Ramírez Cuerda. The building had many owners until it passed to UPRM. Now it is known as “MUSA” and will be probably a museum soon.

The house of the walker


The house of the Walker, “Casa del Caminero” now in ruins. One of the many structures built in masonry. It takes us to the construction of roads in the times of Spain, during the 19th century.


1. http://archivofotograficodepuertorico.com/

2. Archivo Histórico de Mayagüez 1850-1960.pdf.


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