Puerto Rico’s Art Deco Past: Preserving to Remember

Repeating Islands


“Preservar para no olvidar” (El Nuevo Día) focuses on the work of David Soto Padín, a civil engineering student at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, who has documented over 200 examples of Art Deco structures in Puerto Rico and founded the Puerto Rican Society of Historical Architecture in order to preserve memories. Soto Padín’s project is guided by his interest in showing that historical preservation and awareness of our architecture allows us to build “community.”

What started as a whim in the summer of 2008 when the young man began photographing nature, the city, and its hidden corners, became a vehicle to recognize the importance of recognizing the cultural and architectural heritage of the country. The photos led to research that has led him to create a database that exceeds 200 examples of Art Deco buildings in Puerto Rico. This is a list comprising residential, government and commercial…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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