First Period (1844-1865): Spans from the declaration of independence
to the Restoration and the departure of Spanish troops which had established
themselves in the country due to the annexation of the Dominican Republic.
Due to the situation of permanent war against Haiti and Spain at this time,
the First Period was a rough and poor era. The island merely subsisted; agricultural
production was practically paralyzed and there was no money to save for supplies.
For that reason, architecture at this time was characterized by the static.
The city of Santo Domingo reflected its accumulated experience as a marginalized
colonial center, subjected to the will and plundering of both European powers
and pirates during three and a half centuries.
Hispanic architectural plans
"Checkerboard" urban design
Horizontal city plans
Lots subdivided into irregular plots
Beautiful interior facades
Bare external facades except for small tablatures around windows and/or
doorways, usually in groups of two or three.
High, wide, and strong doors, usually lacking adornment
High, simple windows with small tablatures in brick and flat tile. These
were usually protected by an iron grille.
Proliferation of balconies (running and individual) with more pronounced
ledges. More often than not, these balconies were roofed.
Lack of roads. Roads were often dirt, irregular, and were not well-kept.
Humble, shack-style residences characterized by walls made of fine ligneous
wood, cane, or bamboos joined with ligatures. Roofs were not sloped and were
made of yagua, cane, or flat wooden boards.
Homes were generally one story, or two in the case of wealthy residents
in the city center.
Gravel-style ceramic floors appear
Tapia walling, a mixture of clay-rich land, gravel and cement, was the most-used
material for the construction of houses among the wealthy of the day.
Ruined, once-decadent grandeur, reminiscent of the ephemeral splendor of
Different styles of buildings at the time:
Medieval architectural backdrop of tapia walling and whitewash.
Plasencia-style, Mudéjar (Andalusian/Muslim), Moorish, Gothic,
and ironwork details.
French-influences elements that allowed the connection between exterior
and interior spaces.
These features combined to create a style that has been called "Neocolonial
Republican". An example of this can be seen in the building at 176
Espaillat Street in the Colonial City.
Plazas or small squares configured in a grid, dispersed throughout the city,
bare and treeless.
The walled city of Santo Domingo. The North wall had eight forts, the Western
wall had four, that of the South bank had several smaller battalions along
with its cliffs, while the Eastern perimeter was protected by the natural
barrier of the river and three fortresses, one of the which was located in
the estuary of the river.
Almost no overall architectural production, due to the general poverty of
the rising republic.