PHOTOS & VIDEOS
Historical U.S. PlacesSeptember 16, 2013
The Palace of the Governors
Part of the historic Santa Fe Plaza, in New Mexico, the Palace of the Governors was built in 1616 using a combination of Pueblo Indian and Spanish design and building methods. This produced a new type of building that was used throughout the Southwest. The Palace was built when New Mexico was a Spanish territory that made up much of the Southwest. It went on to serve as the residence of Spanish, Mexican, and American governors of New Mexico until 1907. Now a museum and a national historic landmark, it is the oldest public building in the U.S. that has been continuously occupied. Flip through this slideshow to see a few other examples of notable national historic monuments and landmarks in the U.S. with Hispanic influence.
The Hispanic Society of America
This institution was founded in 1904 in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. Philanthropist Archer M. Huntington created the Hispanic Society of America complex as a museum and research library to provide Hispanic Americans with information about their heritage. It celebrated Hispanic culture including heritage from Spain, Portugal, Central America, and South America. This helped Americans better understand Hispanic culture and view it more positively. Today, the library, a national historic landmark, holds more than 400,000 historic books and other documents.
National César Chávez at La Paz
The 187-acre "Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz" ("Our Lady, Queen of Peace") property in Keene, California, is the former home of labor activist César Chávez. Chávez organized the first successful farm workers union and was the first Latino member of the Labor Hall of Fame. He established the headquarters of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) here at La Paz in the 1970s. Today, the César Chávez Foundation runs the National Chávez Center, a memorial and visitors center, at La Paz. The property is also still used by the UFW. In 2012, President Barack Obama declared the center a national monument.
The Forts of Old San Juan
The Spanish system of fortifications in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the oldest European construction in the U.S. and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Spanish Empire, which controlled Puerto Rico, built forts on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. They guarded the entrance to San Juan Bay and protected Spanish commerce in the Caribbean. The U.S. gained control of Puerto Rico after the Spanish American War in 1898 and used the forts until the end of World War II. Today, the forts are preserved for visitors to explore their rich history.
El Centro Español de Tampa
This national historic landmark is a Spanish ethnic and cultural club located in Florida's "Latin Quarter" - the Ybor City section of Tampa. It commemorates the phase of Spanish immigration to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when most immigrated to Gold Coast states like Florida. Spanish settlers in Tampa organized El Centro Español in 1891 as a clubhouse for new immigrants from Spain and Cuba. The society helped preserve their cultural identity, provided recreational opportunities, and offered services like low-cost health care. The original building was replaced in 1912 with one featuring a large theater with Spanish-influenced decoration, called El Gran Teatro Español. It soon became a popular venue for Spanish-speaking artists and officials from around the world.
To read about more historical U.S. places with ties to Hispanic heritage, visit the National Park Service website.