UPR president requests investigation into Klumb House fire
By John McPhaul
Puerto Rico has lost a historic architectural jewel, University of Puerto Rico (UPR) President Jorge Haddock said Wednesday as he requested an investigation by the Department of Public Safety to find out the causes of a fire in the Klumb House, a center of instruction for the UPR School of Architecture on the university’s flagship Río Piedras Campus in San Juan.
Haddock stressed that the Klumb House is an architectural work of great importance for UPR and the island for its value as a historical heritage and contribution to the educational training of students.
“Our plans have always been the conservation and restoration of the Klumb House for the benefit of the university community and of all Puerto Ricans,” the UPR president said. “The structure suffered damage as a result of Hurricane Maria, and upon my arrival in 2018, I established a work plan to accelerate the development of infrastructure projects at the UPR.”
The process required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency had been completed and was awaiting the allocation of funds, Haddock said.
“In addition, the Klumb House is listed on the list of priority projects to receive new income through our philanthropy plan,” he said. “Despite the magnitude of the damage caused by the fire, we will be conducting a responsible and thorough evaluation, with the support of experts from our institution, to determine the possibility of restoring the structure, which served as a classroom for the students of the School of Architecture of the Río Piedras Campus.”
The UPR president said he also contacted the director of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, Carlos Ruiz, to request the collaboration of specialists in conservation and restoration.
“I appreciate his immediate [involvement] and support in this process,” Haddock said.