Albergue Caritativo Tricoche in Ponce
The Albergue Caritativo Tricoche, also referred to as Hospital Tricoche, is an extremely significant building in the city of Ponce, not only for its historical value but for services it has provided to the community for centuries. The construction of this building would not have been possible if it was not for the endowment left by Mr Valentin Tricoche in his final will and testament in 1878. He left his funds to the City of Ponce and the money was well spent as a shelter hospital was constructed to assist the needy and poor communities of the city.
It is known that the Spanish Royal Corps of Engineers were commissioned for the building. A beautiful neoclassical structure that consisted of one storey was completed by 1885 and retained its original form until an earthquake in 1918 caused damage to the southern side of the building. Reconstruction of the building took place and was finished in 1928. The entire first floor and the main entrance to the hospital are still in the original form. The original single storey building featured two anterior courtyards.
The hospital eventually developed to take over an entire urban block, and is closely located to the main square of Ponce. It was during the reconstruction of the building to repair the earthquake damage that a second storey was added to the building. The portico entrance, which is the most significant feature of the building, is complimented by three arches and Tuscan pilasters. The first storey was also constructed with other decorative qualities, such as louvered casement windows, overhangs and the centre window features a round cornice. The back of the hospital protects the original building and features beautiful pilasters, facades, a podium and stunning planar moldings.
Sine the year 1878 Albergue Caritativo Tricoche had been assisting the poor with free medical assistance, up until its hundred and eighth year, as it was closed down in 1987. It was announced in 2009 that money had been allocated to restore the hospital so that it will once again be able to perform its duties to the communities, and the mayor foresaw the reopening of the hospital in the near future. On 4 May 1987, the hospital was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places list, and remains a noteworthy attraction and a significant part of the history of Ponce.