The building where the Government Reception Center is today was originally conceived to be the “Casino de Puerto Rico”, a meeting for Old San Juan’s social elite. Construction started in 1910 and the building opened it’s doors in 1913.
The building sits exactly where the old Puerta de Santiago used to be. Puerta de Santiago was the only gate in Old San Juan that connected to land. This earned it the nickname of “la Puerta de Tierra”, the “land” gate.
The “Casino de Puerto Rico” was built by the architectural firm “Del Valle Zeno Hermanos”, which was established in 1910 and dissolved in 1913; right after the building was completed. Hmmm.
The Government Reception Center has a privileged location, right across the street from Plaza Colón.