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Abandoned Art Deco

11 February, 2016

Well, not currently abandoned, but the Normandie Hotel has been unoccupied and supposedly under renovation since 2008. This San Juan gem, inspired by the SS Normandie ocean liner, took four years to build and finally opened in 1942, the same year that its namesake ship capsized in the Hudson.

Normandie San Juan

San Juan (December 2015)

Sadly, the Normandie Hotel’s heyday as the trendy hangout for Puerto Rico’s fashionistas lasted only until the early 1960s, and has since spent over 39 years abandoned or unoccupied. It had a brief resurgence in the late 1980s but closed again in 2004 (and opened in 2005 and closed again in 2008).

Alas! The Author, who admired the hotel across a four lane roadway, would have loved to see the interior in its prime.  Luckily, the Normandie Hotel was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and the National Park Service has a marvelous photographic record of the hotel post-abandonment but pre-1980s renovation. I will share some below:

The Norm_die (poor Norm!) in 1980, with, strangely, a Burger King at its bow:

Normandie 1980



The Author must resist including more photographs. The full 145 pages of Normandie Hotel images can be found on the National Park Service website here. Hip hip hooray for Internet Archives!

For Da Dork: the architect was Raúl Reichard.




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