New Port-au-Prince Cathedral Blend of Traditional and Modern Aesthetics

The Port-au-Prince Cathedral (PAP) was almost completely demolished during the 2010 earthquake that razed most of Haiti. Along with general reconstruction efforts to rebuild Haiti, the cathedral will be resurrected when monies donated to its rebuilding, but used for more pressing reconstruction efforts can be raised again.


The government of Haiti along with the Archdiocese of PAP held a design competition for restoration of the PAP Cathedral, and received 134 entries from all over the world. A committee of six instructors of architecture from the University Of Miami School Of Architecture made the final selection from a short-list of five entrants.

Puerto Rican Segundo Cardona and his architecture associates' design was chosen. The design incorporates elements of classic and modern architecture, bowing to the history of Haitian architecture while embracing the future.

Central to the Archdiocese's choice of Cardona's design was his team's decision to maintain the outer surface of the PAP Cathedral, which survived the debacle rendered by the earthquake. The cathedral's old façade will be used as part of a newly-erected circular structure that will embrace the main altar. Artworks created by Haitian artists will adorn the altar area, and movable walls will recede to reveal a garden for church events. Seating capacity of 1,200 will extend to accommodate another 600 people if necessary.

Although rebuilding the cathedral is viewed as a symbol of PAP's historical significance, it has been a low-priority project. Colossal rebuilding efforts of other more-needed structures has taken precedence, and been slowed by the usual obstacles inherent in Haiti's bureaucratic process.

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Read more: Cathedrale, Cathedral of Port-au-Prince, Religion

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