American Red Cross Building – San Juan PR


The American Red Cross Building in San Juan was built in 1935 by PRERA (the Puerto Rico Emergency Relief Administration; as opposed to PRRA, the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration).

“In accordance to Law No. 3 of June 26, 1929, the Government of Puerto Rico sold to the American Red Cross, Puerto Rico Chapter, a plot of 563.25 square meters, located in the Puerta de Tierra neighborhood of San Juan, for the sum of one dollar. Law 3 required that the Chapter build a structure within five years at the cost of no less than $15,000. Another condition was that the structure be reserved exclusively for the offices of the Chapter and other dependencies necessary for its work in Puerto Rico. Law 3 stipulated that if these conditions were not met, the site and the building would become property of the People of Puerto Rico.

During the presidency of John Barton Payne, The American National Red Cross contributed to the development of the project with construction materials. The Public Buildings Division of the Department of the Interior prepared the project and plans. The project Architect was Rafael Carmoega; the project author was Joseph J. O’Kelly; the pans were prepared by Gonzalo Fernos; and the Puerto Rico Emergency Relief Administration, under the direction of James R. Bourne and Captain William A. Font, managed the labor force and carried out the work. The building was built by PRERA under the direction of Carlos Gonzalez and Luis Ferrer. The inauguration of the building took place on August 18, 1935.”

The front of the building faces both Avenida Juan Ponce de León, and the rear of the building faces Paseo Covadonga. The building is identified on both sides: “Cruz Roja Americana, Capitolo de Puerto Rico,” and the year is twice identified as 1935 on the building’s rear.

Source notes

Translation from Spanish, see (, accessed May 3, 2017.

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on May 3, 2017.
Additional contributions by Evan Kalish.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Avenida Juan Ponce de León
San Juan, PR

Coordinates: 18.465796, -66.109851

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