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Estrugamou family and their various residences in Argentina

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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 is found on Basavilbaso 1233.  For a time, several high-end decorators of Buenos Aires flaunted their art in the 12 million dollar mansion.

Where did the name Estrugamou come from?

The origin of the surname Estrugamou lies in Bearne.  The only place in the world this surname exists still is here in South America, in fact, 91 people in Argentina and 1 in Uruguay; it has become extinct in France, both in Bearne and in origins in the Basque country of Spain.  Jean Estrugamou was born on October 20, 1823 in the Basque town of Charritte-de-Bas (in Basque Sarriteko-pea), Sola (Zuberoa), he was the son of the Bearnais Jean Baptiste Estrugamou Bascaves, (1774-1841) of the locality Bearnaise of Nabas, which in Basque is called Narbize or Nabarzi, and of the Basque Anne Bordalecu of Charritte-of-Bas.  Jean Estrugamou emigrated to Montevideo in Uruguay and then later to Buenos Aires.  As soon as he came to Buenos Aires, he looked for a business and found that milk production was an opportunity and eventually became one of the great milk producers in Argentina.

He then married Catherine Larrart Larralde and had the following children: Mary, married to Michel Ibarnegaray; Alejandro, married to Rosa Isabel Turner Casey; Fernand married with Adela Birabent; Margarita married to Luis Pedro de Souhy; Pedro married to Carmen Guillon.

Alejandro was born in Rosario on July 10, 1855, and died on October 24, 1937. In 1880 he met Don Eduardo Casey, who had Loteado in the south of the province of Santa Fe a fraction of 72 leagues of fields, bought from the state. Eduardo Casey named him as manager of his estates. He became a great proponent of the Venado Tuerto Foundation. In 1883 he installed the first general shop, in front of the current Plaza San Martín, whose building was then donated to create Santa Rosa College.

On May 25, 1889, he married Rosa Isabel Turner, daughter of Don Santiago Turner, with whom he had five children. He was the first peace judge in the Distrito Venado Tuerto. He acquired the Estancia “La Victoria” by Mr Casey, was one of the first to sow crops on this farm.  He donated the building of the former Normal School, the terrain of the cemetery and the land of Plaza San Martín. He contributed to the beautification of the then town, taking care of the first specimen trees that had been planted in the main square.

It was Alejandro Estrugamou the great benefactor who donated the Junín School number 1 naming it after his mother Catalina Larrart de Estrugamou. As a side note, at that school studying until her fifteenth year was Maria Eva Duarte. She was the daughter of the rancher Juan Duarte and Juana Ibarguren. Eva Perón’s father was the son of Bajo Navarros (François Uhart and Marie Mancasta), as Alejandro Estrugamou was the son of the northern Pyrenees Basques. In other words, the benefactor and the beneficiary were Basques. For those not aware of who Eva Peron was, her claim to fame was she was married to the originator of Peronism, President Juan Peron.

The Estrugamou Palace

The Estrugamou Palace was built in 1924, an architectural landmark of the stately architecture of the first half of the twentieth century in the Retiro neighbourhood. Located at 783 Juncal Street, it rises at the intersection of the streets Juncal and Esmeralda in the “aristocratic elbow” of the street called Arroyo, as the writer Eduardo Mallea liked to called it.  It was commissioned by Alejandro Estrugamou as a rental building (as it was called in those days to the residential buildings for rent),  of French style

Designed by the architects Eduardo Sauze and Auguste Huguier, it is an eclectic style influenced by the French Baroque and the Second Empire style. It consists of four buildings around a courtyard where there is a bronze copy of the Victoria de Samotracia. The construction materials were imported from France, the oak floors of Slavonia the builders using the best building technology of the day. The eight-storey building with a black slate attic roof in French academic style was inaugurated in 1929. The formal treatment was designed by the architects giving the building the appearance of a large private residence, seen from the street, with its chimneys, attic, stone base, large mouldings and pilasters of classic capital three stories high. The common spaces, which showed the reality of the building as a house of apartments, were carefully thought out to safeguard the distinguished social position of the inhabitants. The access patio is more visually assimilated to a palatial courtyard than to the entrance of an apartment building.

The Estrugamou building has four equivalent apartments on each of its floors, composed of: a living room, a dining room, a lounge room, five bedrooms for the family and three for the domestic service. Each group of apartments have their private lobby, their French chandelier hanging in the stair box, their main elevator and another for service. The garden frontage of the building was donated by Mr Estrugamou to the city to allow them to widen Juncal Street shortly before his death which occurred in 1937. Among the best-known residents who are or have lived there are Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear and his wife Regina Sherry, Alejandro Estrugamou, Juan Llach, Eduardo Sauze, August Huguier, Justo Solsona, Domingo Cavallo, Carlos Gardel, Naela Chohan, Jorge Lanata, to name but a few.

The city of Buenos Aires also houses several other buildings designed by the architects Sauze and Huguier, always with a style that is timeless.

In the street, Salta on the corner of Carlos Calvo is a building of 1300 m2, developed on two floors. This is a petit hotel that was built on behalf of the Estrugamou family in 1905. The building was built with materials brought mostly from France and Italy, which are still today preserved in very good condition.

The building is a faithful exponent of eclectic style, reminiscent of the Baroque, and was inhabited by the family Estrugamou up to 1932, hence its name. The central hall is strategically located at the corner of the building, with predominant visuals towards the surroundings. The imposing staircase and the quality of the oak floors of Slavonia are highlighted. The hearth, the panelling and the chandelier give an account of the splendours of another era.

Canton House, was sold in 1914 to Alejandro F. Estrugamou, who renamed it estancia La Angélica; The home passed to his son-in-law Emilio M. Sastre and then his daughter, the widow Maria Margarita Estrougamu de Sastre; The sons sold it to the Peninsular Sociedad Anonima that was of the shipowners Genoese Costa (ships Federico C., Costa Concordia, etc.) It was altered by Alejandro Christophersen in 1928 as a family residence for Fernando Estrugamou and demolished in 1973.

The architect Christophersen was of Norwegian origins, born in Cadiz;  dedicated all  his life to the social and cultural lifestyle. Through his diplomatic father, from an early age, he was surrounded by grandeur and comfort, coupled with continuous banquets that his parents gave to the highest authorities. His education was linked to the best educational establishments in Europe, graduating with a Medal of Honor in 1886. As a painter and even scenographer, he arrived in Buenos Aires where he began collaborating in the studio of architecture of Ernesto Bunge, where years later began his independent career. Christophersen made significant works and monuments through his relationship with the great families of the Buenos Aires elite, of which he was a part, and thus gave him the freedom to undertake any work he would like to project.

Ambitious projects such as the Anchorena Palace, the Santa Rosa de Lima Church, the Russian Orthodox or public buildings such as the new Gas company, all attest to this. He was the founding partner of the S.C.A. (being its president twice) and the School of Architecture. In art as in the social circles, Alexander Christophersen was not deprived of anything, being respected and admired by both his peers and all those who encountered him. In his mid-40’s he ended his professional activity by announcing his “Farewell to Design”. He died in Buenos Aires in 1946.

Pedro Estrugamou Larrart was born on November 5, 1865, in Chivilcoy, and died at 65 years on March 23, 1931, in Buenos Aires. He married Carmen Sara Carlota Catalina Guillon Segrestan,  they had seven children, 6 in Buenos Aires: Pedro Estrugamou Guillon; Sara María Catalina Estrugamou Guillon, 1/4/1901 -6/4/1970; María Luisa Estrugamou Guillon; María Esther Estrugamou Guillon 6/5/1907-24/7/1982; Rodolfo Juan Estrugamou Guillon, N. 2/10/1912; Jorge Alejandro Estrugamou Guillon, N. 23/1/1914, Salto; Ernesto Estrugamou Guillon, 11/5/1918-28/8/2001. He was the owner of the Estancia El Rincón, in Salto. In December 1945 President Perón expropriated two ranches belonging to patron Costas in Perico del Carmen province of Jujuy, followed by El Potrero in Entre Rios and Rincón de Estrugamou in Salto, province of Buenos Aires.

Concept and History of La Fortuna

La Fortuna opened its doors for exclusive stays showing the splendour of its architecture and works of art, the warmth of its people, its respect for tradition and customs, the care of birds, animals and vegetation that surrounds it. It is easy to appreciate the place, you get the feeling of home as you walk around the luminous house with huge windows and feel the authentic materials and elements used in the construction. When going outside you experience the gaucho activity, enjoying horseback riding, strolling in old carriages or simply sitting down to contemplate the wonderful and careful vegetation that surrounds it. The Palace of the Pampas, with its opulence and simplicity at the same time, is a destination that promises memorable experiences. Founded in the year 1873, Estancia la Fortuna originally belonged to the Franco-Argentine family Estrugamou. Designed by the French architect Le Bergere, the main house was built in 1902. The gardens were designed by the German landscaper Otto Becker. All the materials, marbles, ironworks and the magnificent dome that decorates the observatory were also brought from France.

In 2009 the house and the surroundings were fully restored maintaining the charm and original glamour combining the current technology perfectly. Two years later, the current owners, experts in the hotel industry, acquire La Fortuna and decide to add even more value to this incredible property with professionalism and personalization in service, in addition to its sophisticated personal touch and great attention to detail.  Today La Fortuna is a majestic residence where one is inspired by the history and the culture through its architecture and works; a place where one can relax and enjoy the park, the rich vegetation and the typical activities of the farm and at the end of the day appreciating the house and enjoy it as “home”, accompanied always by a professional warm team of collaborators who love this place as their own and so transmit it to their guests. Location Salto, Buenos Aires

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Source: Jorge Beramendi

PS: The Spanish version has more detail.

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