Preservation of urban design : the story of Paseo de Diego
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The original design of Paseo de Diego, inaugurated in 1981 as the first full pedestrian mall in Puerto Rico, vanished with the consent of the agencies in charge of historic preservation in the island. Lack of maintenance and other management issues, rather than the architecture itself, led to a revitalization project that erased a vibrant and distinctive example of modernist urban design by a notable Puerto Rican architect in the barrio of Río Piedras, which is currently being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. The story of Paseo de Diego recounts the mall's development and recent replacement with a redesign that raises serious questions about age, preservation of rich urban layering, and the policies and regulations protecting significant historic urban fabric.