Docomomo International together with Docomomo Puerto Rico are willing to raise awareness regarding the risk of demolition of the Normandie Hotel, designed by Félix Benítez and Raúl Reichard, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1942.
The Normandie Hotel is part of the national heritage and is a landmark for the Old San Juan area. Instead of its demolition, solutions to repair and renovate can be found to make good use of its structure.
As Pachi Ortiz stated, “Preserving historic buildings is critical to preserving our nation’s heritage and history. It is also environmentally correct and practical, basically it is a large-scale recycling. Reduces the need for new materials and the other costs and repercussions of demolition. In short, preserving a historic building within a city proves to be a more valuable proposition than replacing them with modern buildings.
The destruction of historic buildings is mainly due to a lack of environmental and cultural awareness. Maintaining government apathy is another factor.
The Normandie is a perfect example of the Art Deco style in Puerto Rico with the unique touch of the Streamline Moderne, which is basically Art Deco and Art Moderne combined.
The Hotel Normandie became a National Historic Site in 1980. The Puerto Rican Society for Historic Building Drawings highlights the Art Deco design of the Hotel Normandie, whose inspiration was precisely a French cruise ship called Normandie, where its architect Félix Benítez met his wife Luccienne Suzanne Dhotelle.”
A petition to prevent the demolition of the Hotel can be signed at: change.org.