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The Basilica in the Retiro of Buenos Aires and the myths that surrounded it

It was eight years of specialised construction, taking care of every detail to the extreme. Traveling to France to buy the best materials and even buying the largest organ in Argentina. Luxury, good taste and its Gothic-Romanesque construction whose with its exterior had a status of “forbidden love” amongst the Buenos Aires aristocracy. This was the birthplace of the Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament, in the Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires. “If I live in a palace, then my God also deserves…

The facade of the De Ridder mansion on Alvear Avenue in Buenos Aires during its expansion, around 1927

Fuente: Archivo – Crédito: Archivo de Maud De Ridder de Zemborain In Buenos Aires golden age, Alvear Avenue was Frenchified, an idea based on the aesthetics of large residences preserved along with its short six blocks that, with few exceptions, recreated in Beaux-Arts style of the Ancien Régime. The culmination of its axis is the great dome of the old residence Ortiz Basualdo, the current French Embassy, to which the Plaza Carlos Pellegrini with its monument by Jules-Félix Coutan serve as a setting,…

IN ARGENTINA THE UPPER CLASS DOMINATED RURAL LAND OWNERSHIP

image of Arquitectura Francesa en Buenos Aires
Towards the end of 18th century, the ruling class had already consolidated it position, commonly referred to as  “Argentines oligarchy”. It is a group of families who own massive amounts of land, dedicated, especially, to livestock production, in the humid Pampa of Buenos Aires, as well as financiers and large merchants linked to export and import, as well as large producers in some other provinces. Unlike English colonies these mega-farms where never broken up by their socialist governments.…

Calle Arroyo- why it’s one of Buenos Aires’ most unique and exclusive streets

Calle Arroyo has become one of the most desirable in Buenos Aires and was even baptized by Eduardo Mallea as the “elbow of aristocracy in Buenos Aires”. In the 60’s it was also home to the legendary and trendiest Mau Mau club which was one of the most original and exclusive the city has seen. The street has been home to many important and historical buildings, such as the Torre Mihanovich which today is the Sofitel Hotel (now closed), as well as architectural gems from the porteño past. Calle Arroyo…

Buenos Aires: Palacio Álzaga Unzué: The most luxurious wedding gift in Argentina’s history

On May 8th, 1916, there was a large party in Buenos Aires. Two offspring of the aristocracy, Félix Saturnino de Álzaga Unzué, 31, and Elena Peña Unzué, 24, were married with all pomp and ceremony in the Church of St. Augustine. As corresponding to a wedding of that rank, the couple received innumerable gifts. But nothing was like the gift of the groom that he gave to his new wife: a superb palace a few meters from the exclusive Avenue Alvear, in the neighborhood of Retiro, which to this day still surprises…

Hume Palace was built for a Scottish Railway Magnate in Alvear Avenue Buenos Aires

Alvear Avenue is emblematic of the elegance of Buenos Aires. The street contains an important collection of architecture from the 1900’s. In the first period, right up to the country’s first centennial, it was a street lined with Italianate villas or Victorian mansions with lush gardens. Then in the 10’s and 20’s, almost everything was replaced by private hotels of great size, inspired by the French architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as evidenced by the…

The experience of living in a historic building in Buenos Aires

Kavanagh Building The emblematic Kavanagh building, located in Florida 1065 is a symbol of the architecture of Buenos Aires and the reference of the Art Deco movement. The construction was inaugurated in January 1936, at the initiative of Corina Kavanagh and was constructed in a record time of 14 months. At the time, with a height of 120 meters, the project was the highest concrete tower in Latin America. The 105 apartments are distributed over 31 floors and are all different. In addition, the tower has five…

Estrugamou family and their various residences in Argentina

The city of Buenos Aires has many emblematic buildings of a classic cut and among them is one located in Juncal 783 called the Estrugamou Palace, of the style Beaux-Arts. Its classic lines are maintained in the era and they excite all lovers of architecture who walk by them in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.  A few steps further on another nearby street,  we find another beautiful building called Mansion Estrougamou,  which was redeveloped in 2015 for the Casa Foa.   This…

The Palacio Estrugamou apartments are a reflection of Argentina’s Golden Age

“The classic and refined is sometimes associated with formality and excess. To me, it’s the opposite. In this case, the challenge was to transform that formality into something cheerful and luminous.” Said Maria Silvia Loitegui, decorator in charge of giving new life to this wonderful apartment located in a building full of splendor: the Estrugamou Palace. The gates and its ample corridors simulate the carriages ‘ entrances of the French palaces In 1924, when the construction was completed,…

The Iconic Sofitel Hotel is closing in the Retiro, Buenos Aires

The Sofitel in Arroyo 841 closes next month leaving its historic building that was inaugurated in 1929 Fifteen years ago, when it opened, it was major news. A group of foreigners had chosen a palatial tower in Retiro to install a luxury world-class hotel, the first of the French Accor chain in Argentina. The building is on Arroyo Street which is one of the most sought-after positions in Buenos Aires. Then the building was in a deteriorated condition and the  Argentine 2001 crisis was fresh (think…

The Buenos Aires Botanical Garden designed by French Landscape Designer Carlos Thays

The Buenos Aires Botanical Garden (official name in Spanish: Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires) is located in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The garden is triangular in shape, and is bounded by Santa Fe Avenue, Las Heras Avenue and República Árabe Siria Street. The garden, which was declared a national monument in 1996, has a total area of 6.9772 ha (0.026939 sq mi; 17.241 acres), and holds approx 5,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs, as well…

French Architecture in Buenos Aires

City of Buenos Aires Real Estate Market Opportunities
French architecture in Buenos Aires was developed under the auspices of the government of the nation. In the first years after independence from Spain, the new country needed professionals and naturally would not bring them from the country from which it had recently gained independence. This is how, during the first half of the nineteenth century – a turbulent and dangerous time in Europe – many renowned architects and French engineers, who were very eager to be hired to work away from the…

Argentinean Luxury Real Estate

image of Estancia Villa María
Estancias – Argentinean Luxury Real Estate In Argentinean luxury real estate, an “estancia” is a big area of land for raising cattle, traditionally hundreds of hectares. Almost always, a major water course serves as a barrier and prevents animals from invading the areas of agricultural land devoted to crops. Within these large ranches, the owners used to build very luxurious and distinct European style dwellings, “to feel at home”. They would bring in an architect and a landscape architect…

The Estrugamou in Buenos Aires – The Pinnacle of French Classical Architecture

image of Vida cosmopolita en Buenos Aires
On the corner of Juncal and Esmeralda streets, in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, sits a stately and imposing relic of an era of French architecture in Buenos Aires, a city often dubbed the “Paris of South America.” The residential Estrugamou Building, or Edificio Estrugamou, resembles an aristocratic French mansion, with its chimneys, mansard roof, cornices and three-story classical columns. The first wave of French architects came to Argentina in the 1820s, shortly after independence from Spain…