SAHARA Highlights: Caribbean Rim

by Jacqueline Spafford and Jeffrey Klee, SAHARA Co-Editors | Nov 15, 2017

This month focuses on the Caribbean to emphasize how SAHARA can serve as a record of buildings threatened by natural disasters. We particularly welcome contributions from scholars with collections of images from Puerto Rico. This set of images includes buildings from the islands as well as sites on the mainland at the edges of the Caribbean, where networks of trade connected ports as far away as Bermuda down to the north coast of South America.

This month also marks the transition of SAHARA to a new platform, developed by Artstor, which has several welcome new features, including the ability to filter results by date and region. The first time you open SAHARA under the new system, should you find that the system is behaving unpredictably, you may need to clear your browser cache. (For instructions on how to do this, see here.)

Despite doing this, you may experience some service interruptions during the transition and we apologize for any inconvenience. If any problems persist, please report them to SAHARA Co-Editors Jackie Spafford ( or Jeff Klee (, or report technical problems at

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To learn more about contributing to SAHARA, visit:

Casa de Diego Velazquez, Santiago de Cuba, begun 1530. Danielle S. Willkens, photographer, 2016.

Colonial-era streetscape, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Pilar Sanchez-Beltran, photographer, 2008.

Ruins of Colbeck Castle, a fortified stone house in St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica, early 18th century. Jeffrey Klee, photographer, 2011.

Basilica of San Francisco de Assisi, Havana, Cuba, 1730. Danielle S. Willkens, photographer, 2016.

Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 1777. Danielle S. Willkens, photographer, 2016.

E. Earl, architect, R. Harris, Chief of the Works, Orange Valley Slave Hospital, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, 1797. Orange Valley was a large sugar plantation that was significantly improved in the 1790s. This refined slave hospital, with its arcaded loggia, paired Venetian windows, and simple neoclassical cornice, was part of a larger trend in Anglo-Atlantic charitable building that used refined architecture to embody the benevolent paternalism of a donor. The hospital was erected in the context of increasingly vocal demands for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. William Wilberforce began his annual anti-slavery appeals to British Parliament in 1791, and the international slave trade was abolished in 1807. Jeffrey Klee, photographer, 2011.

Thomas Davidson House, 1 King Street, Falmouth, Jamaica, c. 1822. This large, two-story house with a hipped M-roof was owned by Mary Gairdner, a free woman of color, at her death in 1837. Jeffrey Klee, photographer, 2011.

Henry Klumb, Capilla de San Martín de Porres, Cataño, Puerto Rico, 1950. Sandy Isenstadt, photographer, 2003.

Manuel Antonio Gongora, Chief Engineer for the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica, Henry Wallace Building, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, begun 1941. Nikki Moore, photographer, 2017.

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610