|Sector (of Santurce)|
View from Miramar across the lagoon towards Condado
|(US Census 2000)|
Miramar is a historic neighborhood in the district of Santurce.
The neighborhood is under the legal jurisdiction of Santurce in the municipality of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It first appears in the 16th century as a spring that fed water to the Spanish outpost of Old San Juan. In the 17th century a wide public street was built that ran through the spring. Commerce flourished since goods that arrived at the port of San Juan had to pass Miramar on their way to the rest of the island. Today two set of bridges known as San Antonio and Dos Hermanos connects the adjoining areas of Old San Juan and Condado. Its land area measures 0.24 sq. miles (0.62 km²), and has a resident population of 5,440 according to the 2000 United States Census.
Miramar since its beginnings had huge wooden houses and expansive land lots. In the 1950s well known architects from the time period built extravagant homes in Miramar that are still preserved.
An elegant and upscale area with Spanish-style patios and gardens.
Miramar is home to several structures registered at the National Register of Historic Places, like Casa Aboy, a cultural center that was declared a historic building in the year 1989, focusing on the preservation and creation of photographic art. Another example is the Nuestra Señora de Lourdes Chapel, declared a historic building in the year 1984.
It is situated on the north western part of Santurce, adjacent to Isla Grande where the Puerto Rico Convention Center is located to the west, Baldorioty de Castro Boulevard and Condado Lagoon to the north, Barrios Alto del Cabro and Gandul to the east and Hoare Street towards the South.
Miramar is an exclusive residential neighbourhood where primarily middle to upper-class families reside, characterized by quiet streets lined with large, mature shade trees. There are still a handful of historical residences with the charm and atmosphere from the bygone era including several Prairie School architectural style buildings by internationally renowned architect Antonin Nechodoma. Miramar's rich architectural legacy is now protected by law as it was designated an historical district of Puerto Rico. The government of Puerto Rico has passed a law declaring Miramar a Historic Town.
Miramar's Residents Association has had two legal triumphs in the State court system that have helped define zoning laws and development sustainability.
The State Justice Department of Puerto Rico (which can be seen in the picture, third condo from right to left, dark colored] is located in Miramar, and had plans to expand their facilities. Expropriation processes were begun for adjacent lots. The Association took the matter to court and simultaneously began lobbying in the State Congress. Their endeavors ended with the passing of a law declaring the historic value of the district, officially declaring Miramar a historic town. Thus, the courts ruled such zoning laws pertaining to historic districts prohibited the proposed expansion plans. To this day, the adjacent lots are empty, but the department has abandoned their proposed expansion.
The second victory for the Residents, was in the halting of construction of an four-lane expressway that was begun on the south part of Miramar. The proposed plans were considered to be an abuse on the environment (hundred year old trees would have to been cut), the highway would not meet noise emission levels in regular traffic hours (as established by law for historic districts) and various condos and houses would become isolated from the rest of the town. In an unexpected move, in 2010 Mayor Jorge Santini proposed that instead of building the highway, a green concept should be pursued and a light rail program called SaTour was to be built. The plan is part of the San Juan Walkable City proposed plan, which is intended to connect Miramar to the Train system already in place called Tren Urbano. When completed, Miramar will have direct access trough train with Hato Rey, Guaynabo, and Bayamón.
Miramar is home to the coeducational Catholic parochial school Academia del Perpetuo Socorro, the Puerto Rico Convention Center, the Isla Grande Airport, the Cruise ship Pan-American Cruise Pier, the luxurious yacht harbor of Club Nautico, and the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.
- "Zona Histórica de Miramar en San Juan de Puerto Rico". 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-24. (Spanish)
- Alonso, Mariá M. and Milagros Flores (1997). The Eighteenth Century Caribbean and the British Attack on Puerto Rico in 1797. San Juan: National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Publicaciones Puertorriqueñas. ISBN 978-1-881713-20-3
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