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Río Piedras, Puerto Rico facts for kids

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LaUniversidad
The University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras campus. Its distinctive clock tower is a landmark of both the campus and Río Piedras.

Río Piedras is a barrio and district of San Juan, and former municipality of Puerto Rico, which was consolidated with the municipality of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1951. It was founded in 1714, and has been the home of the University of Puerto Rico's main campus since 1903, earning the popular name of Ciudad Universitaria (University City). The downtown and historic center of Río Piedras is officially known as the Pueblo barrio of the municipality of San Juan.

History

Catedral-rio-piedras
Río Piedras Cathedral

Río Piedras' origins go back to 1714 when a settlement along the shores of the Piedras river was recognized by Governor Juan de Rivera. Originally known as El Roble, it eventually adopted the name of the river that crossed its territory (Río Piedras in Spanish).

During the nineteenth century, most of its territory was used for agricultural and livestock-raising purposes. Sugar cane, cotton and coffee were some of the goods produced during this era at the municipality.

On May 12, 1903, the University of Puerto Rico was founded in Río Piedras. The university was a central part of the development of Rio Piedras, both in housing and economically. Even though the campus covers a very small portion of the territory, it is considered the unofficial symbol of the old town. The Río Piedras Campus is recognized as the main campus in the University of Puerto Rico system. The Botanical Gardens of the university are also located at Río Piedras.

Incorporation into San Juan

The municipality became part of the capital city of San Juan on July 1, 1951, after the approval of Project 177 of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. Following the annexation of Rio Piedras, the city of San Juan, and its surrounding area now including Rio Piedras, quadrupled its former size. The last mayor of the municipality of Río Piedras was Ángeles Méndez de López Corver.

Symbols

Flag

The flag of Río Piedras consists of a yellow cloth with a wavy blue stripe. The stripe has small white stones crossing it, and symbolizes the river that gave its name to the former town. The yellow background represents the sun, progress, and the future.

Geography

The region is mostly flat due to its location in the Northern Coastal Plains of the island. The highest regions are located at the south, mainly in the Caimito and Cupey barrios. The Río Piedras (or Piedras River) which gives name to the area crosses the region.

Climate data for Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 93
(33.9)
93
(33.9)
94
(34.4)
96
(35.6)
99
(37.2)
105
(40.6)
101
(38.3)
99
(37.2)
104
(40)
102
(38.9)
98
(36.7)
92
(33.3)
105
(40.6)
Average high °F (°C) 80
(26.7)
81
(27.2)
84
(28.9)
88
(31.1)
89
(31.7)
91
(32.8)
93
(33.9)
93
(33.9)
92
(33.3)
90
(32.2)
86
(30)
82
(27.8)
87.4
(30.79)
Average low °F (°C) 66
(18.9)
65
(18.3)
68
(20)
70
(21.1)
72
(22.2)
75
(23.9)
78
(25.6)
78
(25.6)
75
(23.9)
73
(22.8)
75
(23.9)
68
(20)
71.9
(22.18)
Record low °F (°C) 53
(11.7)
52
(11.1)
56
(13.3)
62
(16.7)
66
(18.9)
67
(19.4)
69
(20.6)
69
(20.6)
64
(17.8)
66
(18.9)
52
(11.1)
59
(15)
52
(11.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.89
(48)
1.51
(38.4)
1.52
(38.6)
2.39
(60.7)
9.36
(237.7)
4.35
(110.5)
2.42
(61.5)
5.50
(139.7)
8.34
(211.8)
5.57
(141.5)
5.28
(134.1)
3.74
(95)
51.87
(1,317.5)
Source: weather.com

Cityscape

Barrios

Rio piedras
San Juan (light gray) and Rio Piedras (yellow) before annexation.

Río Piedras is divided into several barrios or districts:

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 13,760
1910 18,880 37.2%
1920 23,035 22.0%
1930 40,853 77.4%
1940 68,290 67.2%
1950 143,989 110.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010

Transportation

Rio Piedras is served by the Tren Urbano Metro system with stations at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and in downtown Río Piedras. Even though these two stations are considered the current stations at Río Piedras, most of the stops of the train in the municipality of San Juan are located in areas that were part of the municipality of Río Piedras prior to 1951.

Culture

Paseo-de-diego-min
Paseo de Diego

At the heart of Río Piedras lies the Avenida José de Diego, a one-kilometer pedestrianized street with stores and shops. The Río Piedras Plaza del Mercado (Marketplace) is the largest of its kind on the island and features a series of shops that offer goods and services.

Ponce de León Avenue is popular with bookstores and small theaters and with students, faculty, and intellectuals in the community.

Robert Clemente's house is located in Rio Piedras [1], where a memorial is visible in the back yard.

Education

Río Piedras is perhaps more known for being the site of the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico. Located in downtown Río Piedras, the university has more than 20,000 students enrolled and a faculty of more than 1,000.

Other universities located in what was known as Río Piedras are the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus.

Río Piedras also has several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Public education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

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