The name “Porto Rico Avenue” first appears in city records around 1902, suggesting that the name was directly inspired by the United States’ annexation of Puerto Rico, which occurred in 1898.
By the 1960s, all five houses along the street were vacant and had been condemned, and the Brill Real Estate Agency, which owned the property, went bankrupt in 1967. In January 1971, Felix G. Rosa, the director of the Puerto Rican Society of Racine, asked the city to rename the street, saying that the condition of the street was “degrading to our island name.” Rosa suggested that it should be renamed “‘X’ Street or Avenue”. A Racine Journal Times editorial argued that the name should be changed in recognition of the fact that “the Puerto Rican… is an American citizen, but all too often a second-class citizen.” Upon investigation, the city council found that the supposed “Porto Rico Avenue” was never a public street, but a private alleyway, and its name had never been officially recognized by the city. In March, it ordered the public works department to remove the “Porto Rico Avenue” street sign and barricade the entrance to the alley, to make clear that it was not a public street.
The houses were later demolished, and the only surviving remnant of the alley is an overgrown driveway at 9th Street.