Home arrow Monumenten en Musea arrow Land school / Public reading room
First Public School / First Public Library
Built originally as a school building for the first public elementary school in Aruba, it was commonly known as the “landschool” (government school). It was designed by Antoine Martis (1837-1894), head of the Construction Department in Curacao in a neo-classic style, and built between 1887 and 1888.

First Public School and Public Library (north face)First Public School and Public Library (south face)


The groundbreaking ceremony was performed by Lieutenant Governor Gaerste on August 8, 1887. It was already established during construction that the building would not meet the requirements set for the number of pupils that would occupy the school, and thus the square annex under a helm roof was added to the construction plan, built against the southern side of the main structure building. This part of the building can nowadays be found between the north and south wings of the building. Construction was completed on February 25, 1888 and the school was opened on March 5, 1888. The school, at the time, had no sanitary facilities whatsoever. The toilets and schoolyard fence were installed in or around 1900, by order of “Meester” (teacher) Johannes Scheurman. Two additional square annexes under helm roof were added around 1920-1922 to the south of the first annex. A terrace with wooden partition wall under a lean-to roof was located between these two last annexes, with a half circular footway with a flight of steps leading to this terrace. The school was named “Juliana School” on December 16, 1921 by a government decree and after the latter named school moved to the Madurostraat., the school was renamed “Prinses Margriet School”. During World War II a wide range of accommodations and facilities for the military were built alongside or adjacent to the building and thus the entire complex served as quarters for the national civil guard. From the end of 1953 until mid 1955, the old building was radically restored and reconstructed to lodge the public library. The restoration plans were worked out by the civil engineer of the Department of Public Works (DOW), Mr. Frans Spee, and by the then librarian, Mr. Johan Hartog.

The restoration work was done by the construction company Ortis & Gonzales. During the restoration and reconstruction that took place between 1953 and 1955 the newest annexes were closed, creating a continuous south front side in which five narrow vertical windows were installed of which two remain today on both sides of the current south portico. The south wing was provided with a saddle roof, the midsection between the north and south wing with a hipped roof. The water tanks were partially drained and later used as basement and storage facilities. A central portico was constructed in 1982, against the south façade, in style and design similar to the north front entrance. From that moment on the building was equipped with two main entrances. The interior of the building has been almost entirely modified and altered.


For more information please contact the Monument Buro



Composed by the Monument Buro

< Prev

  • Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Auto width resolution
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • default color
  • blue color
  • green color