Second Period (1866-1899):
Second Period (1866-1899): Spans from the Restoration of the Republic to
the fall of Ulysses Heureaux.
Rich and definite architectural language, beautiful stylistic elements. The
urban facade of Santo Domingo, which became demographically saturated during
this period, was transformed during these 33 years due to economic improvement
in the country.
- In Santo Domingo, architectural changes were made at a facade level. Hispanic
architectural foundations were maintained.
- A checkerboard layout was maintained in the city, a grid that extended
beyond the walls of what would subsequently become the Ciudad Nueva or New
- Densification of floors.
- 2,654 dwellings built in the year 1893 in Santo Domingo.
- Intensification commercial use of space. Commerce emerged primarily in
two large areas:
- · The area of Navarijo (El Conde and La Nouel Streets from Sánchez
Street) and northeast of Santa Bárbara. This area was characterized
by small business for the poorer classes, emphasizing pharmacies, hardware,
meat markets, bakeries, blacksmiths, and metalworkers.
- The central zone (El Conde St. from Sánchez St. to Isabel la Católica
St., and from there until the Plaza del Mercado). This area housed better
quality stores, hotels and business, among them the two large stores that
had already distributed imported merchandise for years.
- Additionally, other markets distributed throughout the city represented
points of intense commercial activity and trade. Examples included: The
Placita (Plaza de las Verduras), the Old Market or Mercado Viejo (whose
plaza was remodeled during this time), the Slaughterhouse (in the Southwestern
corner of the city), the Mercadito de la Ceiba (a smaller market to the
Northwest, near the Port) and the New Market or
- Mercado Nuevo (established what used to be the city's magazine or polvorín
on November 25, 1888).
- The pattern of lots subdivided into irregular plots, some adjacent to the
others, which reduced lot size and at the same time increased the number of
facades on each block. This reduction and multiplication of lots (which occurred
mostly in working-class neighborhoods) was spontaneous and disorganized, and
also resulted in a decrease in the size of city blocks.
- Conversion of second levels for individual use, resulting in an emergence
of exterior stairways.
- The real estate industry is born in the country.
- Modernization of city services:
- Expansion of the train system.
- Installation of telegraphic cables and telephones.
- Installation of the electric grid. The first electric lights in the Dominican
Republic were lit in the Parque Colón on February 27, 1896. The electric
plant that generated them was located out of the wall, to the Northeast
- Re-organization of the postal system.
- Establishment of the Municipal Laboratory, which was dedicated to serve
as backup to the Leprocomio by doing water analysis and vaccinations, monitoring
the slaughterhouse, and managing food safety.
- Establishment of the Military Hospital in 1889, next to the Fortress.
Its services were offered to the general public.
- Enlargement of the old Municipal Cemetery or Cementerio de la Sabana,
which was also gated with iron gates brought from the United States.
- Emphasis on symmetry and rhythm in facade detail.
- Raised balconies become increasingly common and more stylized, especially
in the detail of their ledges.
- Construction in tapia walling continues to be common in Santo Domingo.
- Introduction and proliferation of reinforced concrete, some handmade elements
for use in construction, and prefabricated structures.
- Importation of wood, iron, shale and clay tiles, bricks, asbestos, and cement.
- Physical conditions of the streets in terms of their width and length remain
- Brick floors (made of smaller and thicker bricks than were previously used)
and wood were common.
- Stylistic trends of the day:
- Modified Colonial: Hispanic building plans outfitted with accessories
from the United States (primarily moldings for facades).
- Neocolonial Republican: Buildings built after the establishment of the
Republic, with reduced floor plans and Colonial facades, characterized by
elements that arise during the Second Period.
- Doors and windows crowned with rectangular or pyramidal cornices.
- Openings (doors and windows) sometimes framed in arched, rectangular,
or mixed high-relief pastiche.
- Higher ledges with more relief in the molding. Crowning based on differently
- Some French neoclassical ornamentation seen (primarily in high relief
stuccowork), though this is not widely used.
- Victorian: Following the model of traditional English architecture. This
style was introduced in the Dominican Republic during the 1870's. The trend
developed mostly in Puerto Plata, which emerged as the primary international
trade port during the Second Period.
- Buildings built mainly in wood and brick (due to the cost of materials).
- Polyhedral living rooms (three-sided to five-sided) also served as openings
to the outdoors.
- Proliferation of extensions, cornices, fans, and small columns on building
- Openwork of different styles seen on the festoons of eaves, tops of
balconies, and lateral facades.
- Elegantly done, rustic woodwork.
- Mass-produced ironwork pieces, imported from abroad and assembled in
the Dominican Republic.
- Variants of "gingerbread" style.
- American, English, and French style doors and windows.
- Victorian-style balconies.
Vernacular: Enriched by Victorian and "gingerbread" influences.
- Carved (balusters and brackets) or drilled (fans, festoons, and partitions)
- Walls and ceilings lined with highly worked smaller boards.
- Wooden French doors and blinds.
- Geometrically designed fans made of wood placed above doors.
- Introduction of zinc siding, first in ceilings and later in refurbished
- Yagua and small boards were often used for walling.
- Santo Domingo outgrew its walls, and openings in them had to be made. The
first drillings were undertaken in 1883, and between 1888 and 1900 portions
of the wall had been removed in El Conde, La Misericordia, and San Diego.
Nevertheless, the wall retained a great psychological importance in terms
of security and providing a clear distinction between urban and rural space.
- Constriction of an iron bridge, laid with planks of wood, over the Ozama
River (today the site of Ramón Matías Mella Bridge). The iron
bridge had to be reconstructed twice due to natural disasters.
- Construction of a dock reinforced with iron rods on the Ozama River. This
dock was set against Customs Office and extended south towards the entrance
to San Diego. It was built in the second half of the 1870's, and was expanded