Architecture of Puerto Rico: From Spanish Colonial to Modern Architecture

While many people flock to Puerto Rico for its sandy beaches, beautiful waves, lovely scenery and vibrant culture, Puerto Rico also hosts many architectural gems. From its long history and diverse culture, Puerto Rico has gone through numerous architectural periods, resulting in some breathtaking buildings and structures.

Spanish Colonial

(Cuartel de Ballaja,

For many years, Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain and much of the Spanish influence can be seen today. Over nearly four centuries of colonization by Spain, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles made their impact on Puerto Rico, according to the National Park Service. In San Juan, the influence of Spanish Colonial architecture is particularly strong due to its history as a valuable port city. Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the Cuartel de Ballaja and the Catedral de San Juan Bautista are just a few examples of Spanish Colonial architecture that can be visited in San Juan today.


Ponce Creole

(Residencia Armstrong-Poventud)

The city of Ponce, Puerto Rico has its own architectural style known as Ponce Creole. Inspired by Catalan modernism, Ponce Creole also combines neoclassical, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau styles with local tastes for truly unique architecture, according to AFAR. Throughout Ponce, buildings with vibrant colors, medieval-inspired towers, and rounded corners epitomize the Ponce Creole. A few of the most notable buildings in the Ponce Creole style include the Casa Wiechers-Villaronga, the Museo de la Música Puertoriqueña, and the Residencia Armstrong-Poventud.


Mid-Century Modern

(A Mid-Century Modern Style Home in Puerto Rico,

One of the most apparent architectural movements in Puerto Rico is the mid-century modern architectural style. The Mid-Century Modern style is defined by its simplicity and openness, avoiding ornamentation and allowing for more creativity in the actual structure itself, according to Architectural Digest. The most notable examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture built during the mid-century period were designed by Henry Klumb, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Many of Klumb’s designs can be seen at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus like the Residencia de Senoritas Universidad de Puerto Rico. Modernism remained popular in Puerto Rico, and many buildings built today have a “Tropical Modern” design, combining historical elements, mid-century modern influences and the nature of the island itself.

When you visit Puerto Rico, you have the opportunity to see centuries of architectural styles, augmented to fit the needs and ideals of the local population. Whether you choose to travel across the island or stay in Rincon to see examples of historical architecture, book your stay with Maria’s. When you’re ready to stay with us, booking is done through Twin Palms, Maria’s rental, and onsite management. Please visit our booking page on this website to view the availability of Maria’s and fill out our convenient contact form. If you have any additional questions regarding Maria’s, you may call Elizabeth at 787-685-6648 (español: Cristina at 787-449-3673).