Casilla del Caminero (Mayagüez)

The Casilla del Caminero is a 19th-century structure located in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.

Casilla del Caminero
Alternative namesCasa del Peón Caminero
Casilla del Caminero
General information
LocationUniversity of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Coordinates18°12′30″N 67°08′32″W / 18.20825°N 67.142095°W / 18.20825; -67.142095Coordinates: 18°12′30″N 67°08′32″W / 18.20825°N 67.142095°W / 18.20825; -67.142095
Current tenantsAbandoned
Completed1883
OwnerUniversity of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
Technical details
Floor count1
Design and construction
ArchitectManuel Maese

HistoryEdit

In the second-half of the 19th century, there was an expansion is the transportation system, both on the high seas and on land, to protect this routes lighthouses and casas de camineros (or road worker's homes), respectively, were built.[1]: 4–4  The one in possession of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez was built in 1883, after the engineer Manuel Maese had submitted his project for the section from Añasco to Mayagüez on 12 March 1882. This project only consisted of two houses, one in each municipality. Only the one in the campus survives, since the other one was a victim of road expansion."[1]: 14–18 

The style of the casilla, designated as Style 2 by the university Biology professor, Dr. José A. Mari Mut, who did an exhaustive study of these homes. This style was a refinement of Style 1. All "the superior borders of the holes for the entry door and for all the windows are straight." The windows reached the foot of the structure, and the cornice surrounds it completely. Inside, "each room has its own door to the living room and the wall that divides them reaches the roof."[1]: 7–11 

Its internal division into two parts corresponded to the fact that two road workers and their families lived there. Each road worker was responsible for three kilometres to each opposite side of the road from the structure.[1]: 14–18 

The Casilla del Caminero, as the oldest structure in the campus is popularly called, suffered damages from the San Fermín earthquake, which occurred on 11 October 1918. Two years later, on 1920, the structure was repaired by installing "a system of internal rods screwed into exterior plates which tied and stabilized the walls." Additionally, "the shed wall was extended up using materials so alike to the original that in antique photographs it seems like an original wall; however, the project plan reveals that this is not the case." The "[C]asilla suffered more changes later, which included the addition of a portico of concrete, which was eliminated when the casilla was moved, and of an eave over a lateral window converted into a door," which was destroyed when a tree that was permitted to grow inside the Casilla collapsed as a result of the Hurricane María winds.[1]: 20–23 [2]

In the mid 1950s, the road workers program is shutdown[1]: 7–11  and the structure comes to be an office for the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP).[1]: 20–23 

In 1988 the DTOP regional office was planning to transfer and agreed with the then-Rector of the camps, Dr. José L. Martínez Picó, so that the property would be restored by the campus to "give it practical use of interest to the Campus and to the People of Puerto Rico."[3][4]

The 6 August 1994 the House of Representatives approved Joint Resolution 937, converting it in Number 433, whereby the structure was transferred, with 2,358.23 m2 of land[5] (a previous version only delineated a plot of land of 2,067.822m2),[6] for the cost of $1.00 from DTOP to the campus. The campus had "an indispensable requirement...that if at any moment the Campus...did not have use for this property, the title would revert to the [DTOP]..."[5]

In the first half of the decade of the 1990s, the Post Road, later to be named the Alfonso Valdés Cobián Boulevard (PR-2R), was expanded, and the structure was moved back from the road, adding the base cement and the transfer of the title of the property was completed.

In the Joint Resolution, the purpose of the structure was mentioned to be "for a museum or cultural purposes " and that "[n]obody better than the Campus...to be custodian of this asset of our national heritage."[5]

TimelineEdit

Date Events
12 March 1882 The engineer Manuel Maese submits for approval the plans for the section that goes from Añasco to Mayagüez, these include the construction of the casillas.[1]: 14–18 
1883 The Casilla del Caminero is built.[7]
11 October 1918 The San Fermín earthquake damages the structure.[1]: 20–23 
1920 The structure is repaired with "a system of internal rods screwed into exterior plates which tied and stabilized the walls. Additionally the shed wall was extended upward..."[1]: 20–23 
Subsequently "[M]ore changes..., w which included the addition of a portico of concrete (eliminated when the casilla was moved) and of an eave over a lateral window converted into a door."[1]: 20–23 
Mid 1950s The roadworkers program ceases.[1]: 7–11 
1988 The rector of the campus, Dr. José L. Martínez Picó, commits to restoring it.[4]
1989 Agustín Echevarría, Esq. of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) endorses the transfer of the Casilla to the campus.[8]
Early 1990s DTOP transfes its offices and abandons the Casilla.[1]: 20–23 
Subsequently The Casilla is moved.
1993 Dr. Carmelo Delgado Cintrón endorses selling the Casilla to the campus.[8]
2 March 1994 The campus states in a document to the House of Representatives that "it commits to guarantee the conservation of its value as a heritage of the country and its safety and adequate upkeep and use for cultural purposes as corresponds to a structure considered of historical interest."[8]
6 October 1994 Joint Resolution Num. 443 is approved.[5]
23 February 1996 Letter of Understanding between the campus, DTOP and the Highways and Transportation Authority (ACT) to exchange campus land for the Casilla property.[9]
9 April 1997 Agreement is made "whereby Parcel 001-00 and Parcel 001-01, both property of RUM, are exchanged for the Parcel of the Caminero House, property of DTOP."[9]
27 July 1998 Law Number 179, Senate Project 928, designating the panoramic route, which would start at the Casilla, with the official name of Luis Muñoz Marín.[10]
2 September 1999 Letter from Mrs. Nelida García Torres de Miranda, Director of Internal Auditing of the Board of Trustees of the University of Puerto Rico, to the rector of the campus, Dr. Zulma Toro, mentioning to her that "the ACT still has not made the arrangements to pass the property title to the Campus..."[9]
Subsequently Casilla is transferred to the campus. Document was lost.
15 May 2002 The ICP sends a letter to the campus "in relation to the restoration and use" of the Casilla.[3]
23 May 2002 Letter from the interim rector of the campus, Pablo Rodríguez, to the ICP. He details that they met "with the architect Jaime Cobas, on the purpose of restoring it and turning it, possibly into a museum."[3]
10 June 2002 Letter from the Mayagüez regional office of the ICP to the ICP Director. Apparently, mistakenly refers to the interim rector as "Pablo Ramos" and the campus to that "of Río Piedras." Makes mention of "[t]he tight economy" of the campus and the conversations with the architect Jaime Cobas.[4]
30 January 2003 DTOP presentation of the Panoramic Route "Luis Muñoz Marín", mentioning that the Casilla would be the "entrance portal of the west of the Route." $3,840,000 are assigned for the entire project.[9]
27 August 2003 Letter from the ICP Director to the rector, Dr. Jorge Iván Vélez Arrocho, requesting "information about the situation and/or plans with the Casilla...and/or immediate future plan..." He mentions that there would be "the possibility that some civic organization would be willing to rehabilitate the structure for its use..." no matter the property title. The ICP would be thankful if the campus would let it know at the earliest possible time if it were no interested in its restoration.[8]
7 October 2003 Letter from the rector, Dr. Vélez Arrocho, to the ICP mentioning the events of the following dates:
  • 23 February 1996
  • 9 April 1997
  • 27 July 1998
  • 2 September 1999
  • 30 January 2003

Additionally he mentions that there is an "interest in reaching an agreement with DTOP" to use the Casilla as the "West Portal" and "[i]t would correspond to DTOP to assume responsibility of rehabilitating the edifice following all applications pertaining to historical buildings, according to the [ICP]."[9]

2007 DTOP "had intentions of restoring and converting it into a Tourist Information Center."[11]
7 August 2018 In the Dean of Administration's Annual Report, they stated that they had supported a students-led idea, who, as part of their course, suggested making the "area for food trucks right next to the [Casilla].[12]
9 September 2019 The student council of the College of Arts and Sciences (ceFAC) of the campus approve a resolution for the prompt cleaning of the Casilla.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mari-Mut, José A. (2013). Nuestras casillas de camineros (PDF) (in Spanish). Ediciones Digitales. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-05.
  2. ^ Morales-Nieves, Alfredo (2017-10-21). "Album: Mayagüez 21 de septiembre de 2017. 11:45 p.m. El retorno". Facebook. Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  3. ^ a b c Rodríguez, Pablo (2002-05-23). "Carta del RUM al ICP 23 de mayo de 2002" [Letter from RUM to ICP 23 May 2002] (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  4. ^ a b c González-Valentín, Mildred (2002-06-10). "Carta del ICP Región Noroeste a ICP San Juan 10 de junio de 2002" [Letter from ICP Regional Northwest Office to ICP San Juan 10 June 2002] (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  5. ^ a b c d House of Representatives of Puerto Rico (1994-08-06). "Resolución Conjunta 433 6 de agosto de 1994" [Joint Resolution 433 6 August 1994] (PDF). Sistema Único de Trámite Legislativo (SUTRA) (in Spanish). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  6. ^ House of Representatives of Puerto Rico (1994-02-02). "Resolución Conjunta 937 de 1994" [Joint Resolution 937 of 1994] (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  7. ^ Mari-Mut, José A.; Montes-Arroyo, Yarisa (2013). "Casilla de Caminero". Lugares Históricos de Mayagüez [Historical Places of Mayagüez] (in Spanish). Ediciones Digitales. pp. 64–64.
  8. ^ a b c d Muñoz Báez, José M. (2003-08-27). "Carta del ICP al RUM 27 de agosto de 2003" [Letter from the ICP to RUM 27 August 2003] (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  9. ^ a b c d e Vélez-Arocho, Jorge Iván (2003-10-07). "Carta del RUM al ICP 7 de octubre de 2003" [Letter from RUM to the ICP 7 Octobre 2003] (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  10. ^ Senate of Puerto Rico (1998-07-27). "Ley 179 27 de julio de 1998" [Law 179 27 July 1998]. Sistema Único de Trámite Legislativo (SUTRA) (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  11. ^ Nenadich, Nadya; Cuadro, Karen J. (2010-03-04). "Inventario General de Recursos Arquitectónicos de Puerto Rico" [General Inventory of Architectural Resources of Puerto Rico] (PDF). Puerto Rico State Historic Preservation Office (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-08-28.
  12. ^ Rosas Muñiz, Carlos E. (2018-08-07). Informe Anual 2017–2018 [Annual Report 2017–2018]. Mayagüez: University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. pp. 9–9. Archived from the original on 2020-08-13.
  13. ^ Student Council of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2019-11-09). "Acta Tercera Reunión Ordinaria del Consejo de Estudiantes de la Facultad de Artes y Ciencias" [Minutes of Third Ordinary Meeting of the Student Council of the College of Arts and Sciences] (in Spanish). p. 7–7. Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-08-13.