One of the country’s top architectural firms is preparing the preliminary plans to rebuild the Black Star Line, the historic Limón building nearly destroyed by fire April 29.
Ronald Zürcher, president of Zürcher Arquitectos, was quoted by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud saying that the firm was working for the benefit of all Costa Ricans.
Right after the fire, the firm had representatives in Limón to evaluate the damage and to meet with government officials and the building owner, the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The ministry said Thursday that a series of architectural drawings already have been completed. What is still to be done are the construction plans.
Immediately after the fire, government officials promised to help rebuild the structure, which initially went up in 1922. The Black Star Line was declared a heritage building in 2000. The building was rebuilt once before after the 1991 earthquake. The two-story frame structure was the headquarters of the Universal Negro Improvement Association created and directed by Marcus Garvey. The name came from the steamship company Garvey created in 1919.
The second floor was a large hall that saw a number of the
municipality’s social events. Fire fighters said they managed to save 385 square meters of the 1,525-square meter building. That’s 4,144 of 16,415 square feet.
The cause was believed to be electrical.
The association has started a campaign titles “Rebuild a Dream, Liberty Hall Black Star Line.”