The History of the Bellavista Barracks. Today National Museum of Costa Rica

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The construction of the “Buena Vista” or “Bellavista” Barracks began in 1917 and was related to the strengthening of the military institution promoted by Federico Tinoco Granados, Minister of War and Navy in the government of Alfredo González Flores (1914-1917).

After Tinoco overthrew González Flores in 1917, the construction of the barracks accelerated: most of the external walls and turrets were raised, the east sector and the lower part of the south were built, and possibly the north sector. In the northwest the old house of Mauro Fernández remained, which initially and for a short time, served as the First Police Section.

After the fall of Tinoco in 1919, the construction of the Barracks stopped in 1923. Work started again in 1928 with the completion of the western and southern sectors of the building and the demolition of a large part of Don Mauro’s house, in which has only been preserved until today, part of the retaining wall on the north side of the building and the entrance arch of the house.

Apparently, the continuation of the work in the 1930s was in the hands of José María Barrantes, who took up the plans made by Salazar and redrew them; However, not everything projected in the version of the existing plans of 1936 was completed.

Los primeros pasos de la construcción los dio la Dirección de Empleados Militares, aunque fueron continuados por la Dirección de Obras Públicas de la Secretaría de Fomento, según el estudio de Christian Kandler sobre la historia del edificio. El plano del Cuartel más antiguo existente, donde se observan secciones construidas entre 1917 y 1919, está firmado por José Francisco Salazar, arquitecto nacido en San José en 1892, quien estudio en Estados Unidos arquitectura para regresar al país en 1914.

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