Article ID: CBB694657979

The Producation and Negotiation of Working-Class Space and Place at Central Aguirre, Puerto Rico (2010)


In Puerto Rico, sugar has impacted the social and economic lives of generations of working class individuals. The establishment of the central system (centralized industrial sugar production) in the late nineteenth century represented an important new chapter in the economic and social development of the industry on the island. The pervasive influence of the Central on all aspects of life became systematized in the aftermath of the annexation of Puerto Rico by the United States as a result of the Spanish American War of 1898, with the subsequent influx of American investment capital into the monbund Puerto Rican sugar industry. The mill and company town of Central Aguirre on the south-central coast of Puerto Rico was the first Amencan-built central on the island, commencing production with the harvest of 1900 and ceasing production in 1990. As the last remaining example of such an engineered community on the island, Central Aguirre provides a unique opportunity to understand the social and spatial negotiations between corporate interests and the working-class community within the wider cultural context of Puerto Rico. This study utilizes oral history, archival, and spatial analyses to understand the role of class division, spatial negotiation, and social memory in the creation of a unique sense of place for those working-class individuah who lived and labored in the company town.

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Authors & Contributors
Joanne Ryan
Thurston H. G. Hahn
Donald G. Hunter
Gabriele Cruciani
Howard, Robert A.
Johnson, Matthew P.
IA. The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology
Environment and History
Princeton Architectural Press
The University of North Carolina Press
Cambridge University Press
Industrial archaeology
Buildings, Industrial
Sugar and sugar industry
Industrial Heritage
Albert Kahn
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
United States
Puerto Rico
Louisiana (U.S.)
Caribbean Sea
Philadelphia Electric Company
Bethlehem Steel Company
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record

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