Rafael Carmoega

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Carmoega and the second or maternal family name is Morales.
Rafael Carmoega Morales
Born 1894
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico[1]
Died 1968
Nationality Puerto Rican
Occupation Architect

Rafael Carmoega Morales (1894–1968) was a Puerto Rican architect from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.[2] He was the first Puerto Rican to become State Architect, a position within the Department of the Interior which he held from 1921 to 1936. Carmoega was one of the most established Puerto Rican architects of the 20th century.[2]

Early years[edit]

The Ponce Meat Market, designed by Carmoega

Rafael Carmoega Morales was born in Ponce in 1894.[2]


A 1918 graduate of the Cornell University School of Architecture and subsequent director of the Architectural division of Puerto Rico's Department of the Interior.[2][3]


He was the first Puerto Rican to become State Architect, a position within the Department of the Interior which he held from 1921 to 1936.[2] In 1936 he went to work for the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration (PRRA) where he designed the University of Puerto Rico based on the Parsons Plan of 1924. In 1937 he established a private practice, which was characterized by eclecticism, and a varied mix of architectural styles. As a private architect he produced the designs for the residences of Secundino Lozana (El Cortijo) in Barranquitas and Dionisio Trigo in Santurce, the General Electric store in San Juan, Colegio San José in Río Piedras and the Casino de Puerto Rico in El Condado.[2]

His works[edit]

Among Carmoega's works are Mercado de las Carnes in Ponce. Carmoega also designed the Capitol Building, the University of Puerto Rico Main Campus at Rio Piedras, the School of Tropical Medicine, and the Mayaguez City Hall, all listed on the National Register. In his interest to preserve Hispanic traditions in the wake of the recent change of sovereignty of Puerto Rico from Spain to the United States, Carmoega utilized the Spanish Baroque and Neo-Mudejar vocabularies in his designs, emphasizing the use of glazed, mosaic tiles in many buildings.[3] The Plaza de los Perros in Ponce is a fine example of this latter style, incorporating glazed mosaics, horseshoe arches, and galleries in a mosque-like space for commercial usage.[3]


Carmoega died in San Juan in 1968.

Rafael Carmoega's Papers[edit]

The Architecture and Construction Archives at the University of Puerto Rico (AACUPR) holds the Rafael Carmoega collection (1837–1969). Approximately 48 cubic feet in size, the collection contains architectural drawings, photographs, artifacts, textual documents, and publications. The Architectural Drawing Series holds 144 projects organized chronologically. The collection was donated by Mrs. Carmoega, widow of Ramírez, Ms. Margarita Higuera and architect Antonio Higuera in 1989.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Algunos Arquitectos en Miramar: Rafael Carmoega Morales, arquitecto. Comunidad Historica de Miramar. Miramar, San Juan, Puerto Rico. February 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f University of Puerto Rico, School of Architecture. Archivo de Arquitectura y Construcción de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (AACUPR)
  3. ^ a b c Joaquin Acevedo Cruz, State Architect, and Felix Julian del Campo, State Historian. (PR SHPO). Certified by Mariano G. Coronas Castro, State Historic Preservation Officer, State Historic Preservation Office, San Juan, PR. March 1986. In National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form – Mercado de las Carnes. United States Department of the Interior. National Park Service. (Washington, D.C.) Page 3. Listing Reference Number 86003199. November 16, 1986.

External links[edit]

The Rafael Carmoega Collection electronic finding aid may be consulted through http://hip.upr.edu:85/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=aac--1#focus