Civic Buildings after the Spanish-American War
How Beaux-Arts edifices reveal the United States' imperialistic vision in the Caribbean
Following the 1898 Spanish-American War, the United States constructed federal buildings in its newly acquired territories, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Over a century later, many of these grand Beaux-Arts-style edifices are still in use. In Civic Buildings after the Spanish-American War, author Maria Eugenia Achurra G. examines this architecture and urban design as a backdrop for US exceptionalism and expansionism.
The book defines exceptionalism and its role in US Federal Beaux-Arts architecture. Subsequent chapters compare specific examples of Beaux-Arts civic architecture in the continental US and Latin America. The book also studies architectural and urban design from other US possessions of the Progressive Era, such as the former Panama Canal Zone and occupied territories like the Dominican Republic. Reviewing the work of relevant designers and architects, Achurra G. argues that architectural examples epitomize the rich, expansionist intentions of twentieth-century Progressive America. These lingering buildings function as intriguing material evidence of the United States' geopolitical, historical, and commercial meddling in the internal affairs of the Americas and elsewhere.