Historical Fernando Luis Toro Casa

The city of Ponce in Puerto Rico has a long history, and is thus known for its many historical attractions and its superb architecture. Many of these structures can be found in the Ponce Historic Zone, which includes La Alhambra, the country’s first upper-class suburban development. Located in this area is the Fernando Luis Toro Casa, which was built in 1927.

Also referred to as Casa Chavier, Fernando Luis Toro Casa was designed by renowned architect Francisco Porrata Doria. Doria became known for his creation of “Ponce Monumental Architecture”, designing a number of buildings in Ponce. The house is one adjoined to two others, with all three connected at the backyards with an attractive wall surrounding them. They were built in this manner to accommodate three brothers.

A main feature of the design is the living room that is located in the centre. The room features a hung ceiling with a fascinating pentagonal pattern. Leading off the living room are six doors with stained glass transoms that open up into the interior corridors, with two doors leading to a balcony. A large Georgian, ornamented doorway with doric pilasters topped by a cornice makes up the northern aspect of the living room. This doorway leads to a stunning enclosed terrace, where colored glass diffuses the light in spectacular fashion.

The west wing features a formal dining room with lovely twin windows that feature stained glass transoms, ornate brackets on the wooden ceiling beams and mosaic floors. Other rooms in this wing of the house include the breakfast room, pantry, kitchen, service patio and maid’s quarters. The east wing comprises a drawing room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an office.

The exterior of Fernando Luis Toro Casa has a number of lovely features, including bas-relief flower motifs and red clay tiles covering the balcony. All doors and windows are decorated with geometrically shaped head moldings. Also on the property are a coach house (now an apartment), storage hut and cistern tower. A lovely formal garden, along with a fountain, rounds off the elegance of the structure.

In the 1970s, Mr. Jorge Chavier purchased the house. He along with his wife, Ms. Hilda de Lis, reside here today. On 5 March 1986, Fernando Luis Toro Casa was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places.