San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Two Heritage Sites To Split $195,000 Prize

The Black Star Line in the Caribbean port city of Limón and the Restaurante La Mazorca in the eastern San José suburb of San Pedro beat out 14 other architectural heritage sites around the country to win the 2006 “Save Our Architectural Heritage” contest.

As winners of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s annual contest, the two historical buildings will split a ¢100 million ($195,000) prize that will fund restorations, ministry officials recently announced.

The portion of the winnings each building receives will be based on the costs of each restoration, which have not been determined.Work on the buildings is scheduled to begin in 2007.

The Black Star Line, a wooden building erected in 1922 as the seat of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Limón, was named a heritage site in 2000. It was chosen as a winner largely for its significance to Limón’s black community, said Claudio Vargas, a historian and a member of the selection committee.

The Restaurante La Mazorca, built out of brick at the beginning of the 20th century, functioned as San Pedro’s first school beginning in 1908. Named a heritage site in 1999, the building with neoclassical elements was deemed significant because it was designed by renowned architect José María Barrantes, Vargas said.


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