Casa Vives, 88 Calle Paseo Atocha, Ponce, Ponce Municipio, PR
2017 Charles E. Peterson Prize, Third Place
Significance: Casa Vives was constructed during the second half of the nineteenth century, a period when the urban center of Ponce was undergoing myriad transformations. In order to express personal achievements, a growing bourgeoisie competed for public recognition and social status through architecture. Casa Vives is one of many residences that became social statements, ultimately differentiating Ponce from other urban centers in Puerto Rico.
Casa Vives represents a well-preserved example of nineteenth-century residence, significant for its craftsmanship and construction methods. The property characterizes a typical urban typology in Puerto Rico of residence at an elevated first floor, or piano nobile, and commercial spaces at the ground level.
There is evidence that the house was built by Carlos Millán in 1860 for the Vives family. The design of the house has been attributed to Juan Bertoli Calderóni, a nineteenth century French architect who came to Puerto Rico in 1845 from Bastia, Corsica to work in the restoration and new facilities at the Palacio de Santa Catalina- La Fortaleza in Old San Juan. Bertoli later moved to Ponce where he designed Teatro La Perla, the first Neoclassical building in Ponce.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N2235
Survey number: HABS PR-83
Building/structure dates: 1860 Initial Construction