North Mascher Street Casita

North Mascher Street casita. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania

North Mascher Street

This privately owned structure is representative of the vernacular Puerto Rican casita. Its bright colors, white picket fencing and garden setting present a stark contrast to the urban environment. Literally meaning "little house," a casita is a recreation of the simple rural homes of Puerto Rican countryside, placed in an urban setting. It evokes simpler times, independence, old values, family, and folk roots, music and traditions. The urban Puerto Rican casita is a communal gathering spot, and provides a means and space to retain rural Puerto Rican identity in the modern American city.