Urban Design – Historic Buildings
Back in 2002, a section of 17th Street between 1st and 8th Avenue became a pedestrian street. This walkway connects many historic buildings, the National Park, the National Museum and the Supreme Courthouse. The city’s new pedestrian mall was named in honor of the three-time President of Costa Rica, Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno.
This pedestrian street in San Jose Costa Rica stretches over five blocks and offers an open and relaxing place in the busy city. As an urban design project exclusively for its walking citizens, its purpose is to embellish historic buildings like the Mediterranean neo-classical Castillo Azul building, the Bellavista Fortress, and many other architectural patrimonial beauties.
The walkway’s design has historical, cultural and contemporary elements. Pre-Columbian spheres hidden underneath its benches and rock pavement along some portions of the walkway are elements that remember Costa Rica’s indigenous cultures. Terracotta color tiles represent our mixed Spanish and indigenous heritage. The palm trees remind us that the old train station to the Atlantic is nearby. It was through the Atlantic coastline that the Spanish once conquered Costa Rica.
Our free walking tour of San Jose will take advantage of the Ricardo Jimenez Boulevard as it connects the Bellavista Fortress with our next destination, the National Park. On the way there, we will discuss historic buildings and what made don Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno such a big shot in the first half of the XX century in Costa Rica.