The Colonial City grew from the urban center laid out in the early decades. This development was sustained until mid-sixteenth century. Some decades later, the resettlement to the mainland took place at the behest of the Spanish monarchs, therefore weakening the city and allowing the invasion by British privateer Francis Drake in 1856, devastating the power- less and outraged community. ￼Amid the 17th and part of the 18th century, a period of serious decline began, characterized by economic constraints and the occurrence of earthquakes and hurricanes, further destroying much of the old city. Mid-eighteenth century, there were some economic improvements, due to the political term succession that include French rule. In the 19th Century, the National Independence was proclaimed after the Haitian occupation that took place from 1822-1844. ￼The National Independence was not sustainable, for years later in 1861, the Annexation to Spain occurred, after which, the great movement of the Industrial Revolution gave access to international markets, originating notable economic improvements, something unseen for centuries. ￼Thereafter began the true expansion of the city, which had never been too populated. In the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, it finally came to occupy the urban layout. During said term, outer suburbs were formed such as Ciudad Nueva including the old San Carlos sector, which had remained beyond borders until then. In its growth, the city observed the colonial house architectural forms and the 16th Century indigenous variants. The 17th Century displayed persistence and decline. With the 18th Century repairs and new industrial movements, arose a vernacular style with new materials and accessible models to a different population; more open and tropical. ￼The city is transformed. Overhanged balconies extend their facades, allowing passersby to interact with the house residents. The balconies feature many doors and make the most of the breeze to ventilate the interior areas. Overall, the houses be come alive and occupied, as did the city.
Of the 20,000 inhabitants from a hundred years ago, growth became sustained and exponential, until reaching the current population, occupying a metropolitan area a hundred times greater in size than the walled city extension; the primal Colonial City. The current buildings derived from the dependence on the new materials of the XX century. With the arrival of reinforced concrete, the city gave way for new formulas and models that produced the architectural landscape. The new buildings cause most of the heterogeneous appearance of the city. By the 1930s, the appearance of the city became denser with the construction of multistory buildings that seized the commercial and centrically located El Conde.
Historicist models also persist as neoclassical variants: Art Nouveau, and Art Deco, as the joint and lush solutions known as eclecticism, which coexist with the simplicity and internationally imposed practicality set by the rationalist architecture movement. After the devastations caused by Hurricane San Zenón in 1930 early into the Trujillo Era, the city is rebuilt, boundless and rapidly expanding. It is an ongoing process till present times. The city continues to expand, displaying the new architectural fanfare produced by technology and the architectural style of the XXI century.