Collection CHC5314 - Nicolás Quintana Papers

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Nicolás Quintana Papers


  • circa 1950s-2012 (Creation)


16 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Nicolás Quintana was born in 1925 in Havana, Cuba, son of prominent architect Nicolás Quintana, who was the head of the firm of Moenck & Quintana in Havana. The younger Quintana followed in his father's footsteps and enrolled in the School of Architecture at the University of Havana in 1944, where he was greatly influenced by modernist architects such as Walter Gropius and José Luis Sert.

By 1950, Quintana was the head of his father's architectural firm and began to participate in the Junta Nacional de Planificación (Board for National Planning), where he was involved with an urban planning initiative created by architect Nicolás Arroyo. One of his final projects while in Cuba was in 1958, planning for the new construction of the Banco Nacional de Cuba, but the project went unfinished due to the rising tensions during the Cuban Revolution. Following public disagreement with Cuban Revolutionary leaders, Quintana left Cuba with his family in 1960.

In exile, Quintana first lived in Venezuela and then Puerto Rico, where he continued working as an architect. In 1986 he moved permanently to Miami, Florida, where he was a professor in the School of Architecture at Florida International University (FIU) until his retirement in 2010. During his time at FIU, Quintana led the "Habana y sus paisajes" (Havana and its landscapes) project as an initiative to develop plans for saving the architectural heritage of Havana and suggesting steps towards developing urban and rural areas during future reconstruction in Cuba. Quintana died in Miami in 2011.

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Scope and content

The Nicolás Quintana papers document the professional activities of Cuban-born architect Nicolás Quintana (1925-2011) in Cuba and while he lived in exile in Miami, Florida. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, architectural drawings, syllabi and other materials from classes taught by Quintana in Puerto Rico, promotional materials from Quintana's exhibits in Miami, materials from architectural conferences in which Quintana participated, and clippings and articles related to Quintana and his work. The collection encompasses the beginning of Quintana's professional career in Cuba as well as his extensive architectural and teaching work in exile, especially in Puerto Rico and Miami.

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This collection is open for research.

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Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please contact for more information.

Languages of the material

  • Spanish
  • English

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Custodial history

Additional 4 boxes of materials and oversize plan of Vedado donated April, 2014 by Isabel Quintana.

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Isabel Quintana, April 2013 and April 2014.

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Related archival materials

CHC5212 Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project interview with Nicolas Quintana.

Information about related materials is available at

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