About Karen González-Jensen

Karen González-Jensen is a local historical architect and preservation expert with a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Puerto Rico. She has over 20-years of hands-on experience in the study, conservation and protection of the historic buildings and sites in Old San Juan and Puerto Rico. She is the only architect who has designed, built and monitor rehabilitation projects within the premises of both the Castillo San Felipe del Morro (1540) and the Castillo San Cristóbal (1634) –UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites, and Fort San Gerónimo (1595).

While working at the Puerto Rico State Historic Preservation Office (PRSHPO), she was in charge of the rehabilitation of various historic properties in Old San Juan and of the coordination of special projects, such as the Conservation Plan and Inventory of Art and Objects within La Fortaleza – the oldest executive mansion in the western hemisphere and also a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. She is the author of the Catálogo de Propiedades Incluídas en el Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos en Puerto Rico (1997), a published description and analytical study of each of the 252 properties of Puerto Rico listed at that moment in the National Register of Historic Places and responsible for more than a dozen nominations of local properties that have been included in the Register. In 2005, architect González-Jensen was appointed Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer of Puerto Rico. While occupying that position, she initiated, fomented and participated in various publications of the agency and was the editor of the PRSHPO magazine: Conversa/Conserva, where she also published several of her own articles and investigations.

Both as a government employee and as a private consultant, she has presented lectures to academic and professional institutions, to state and federal agencies and to the general public regarding historic preservation, the history of Puerto Rican architecture and the urban development of Old San Juan. Because of her vast professional experience, she was chosen by the Office of the Governor and the Puerto Rico State Department to offer guided tours to distinguished visitors, dignitaries and professionals visiting the island, including the Architect of the US Capitol, the Executive Committee of the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, the President of the National Council of State Historic Preservation Officers, the President of the Autonomous Community of the Baleares Islands, benefactors of the Tate Museum in London, members of the New York and Florida Chapters of the American Institute of Architects, in addition to the Major of San Juan, both the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of the Puerto Rico Legislature and most significantly, she provided educational tours to the actual tour guides of La Fortaleza.

Since 2008 she has worked as a private historic preservation consultant for a distinguished list of local clients which include the Office of the Superintendent of the Puerto Rico State Capitol, the National Park Service, the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, the Science, Technology and Research Trust of Puerto Rico and the Speaker of the House of the Puerto Rico Legislature, as well as other private entities, contractors and developers. She was also selected by the US Army Corps of Engineer to be in charge of the protection and monitoring of Fort San Gerónimo during the construction of its hurricane and storm damage reduction project.

Karen González-Jensen: Curriculum Vitae