Puerto Rico’s Capital Building
The construction of a capital building was first initiated by Luis Munoz Rivera who was the Commissioner of Puerto Rico in the year 1907. Although Rivera's suggestion was not acted on immediately, construction eventually started on the El Capitolio de Puerto Rico in 1925 and was completed by the year 1929. The design and construction of the Puerto Rico Capital Building was done by Rafael Carmoega, a local architect, while the interiors were transformed into an artistic masterpiece through the collaboration of a number of local artists such as Jose Oliver, Rafael Tufino, Jorge Rechani and others. Today it is a very popular attraction in Puerto Rico, but tours have to be requested and arranged by appointment.
The El Capitolio de Puerto Rico was to become the House of Representatives and the location for senators’ offices. The building faces the Atlantic Ocean and has a somewhat intimidating design. The dome that is located on top of the building was only added in 1961 and the entire structure is a wonderful example of Neoclassical Revival Style architecture. There are two main entrances to the Puerto Rico Capital Building; one entrance is to south and the other to the North. Each entrance has eight solid pillars with seven doors that each have the name of a district etched into their thresholds as, at the time of inauguration, the island was divided into seven senatorial districts. These were Guayama, Aguadilla, San Juan, Mayaguez, Humacao, Ponce and Arecibo.
The Capital Building of Puerto Rico has three floors. The bottom floor features a permanent ballot box in a rotunda that exhibits the original Constitution of Puerto Rico document. Facades that are located around the interior each depict a different moment in the history of Puerto Rico that is of significant importance to the island and the citizens of Puerto Rico. The chamber, where legislative meetings between the senate members take place, has been decorated with beautiful red chairs and carpeting and the gallery has thick protective glass surrounding the seating area so people in the gallery are able to look down onto the lower level.
With its spectacular architectural design and beautiful friezes and mosaics added as a finishing touch, the Capital Building of Puerto Rico is an impressive feat of construction and décor that instills respect and awe into all that come through its doors. If visiting Puerto Rico, it is advised that you make an appointment to tour this breathtaking attraction in Puerto Rico.