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Notes on the Geography of Argentina: Avenida de Mayo: Photo 27

world pictures Argentina: Avenida de Mayo

We've started walking from the Plaza de Mayo west along the Avenida de Mayo, closed today for the LGBT parade. Down at the far end is the green dome of the Congreso de la Nación.

Quick version: Garay in 1580 laid out a gridded city of nine blocks by 15. Each measured 150 varas by 150, or about 130 meters square. Blocks were separated by streets measuring 11 varas or about 9.5 meters. The grid was greatly expanded in later years, but not the block size or the street width. (Remember those police vans?)

Come the late 19th century, the illustrious Torquato Alvear decided as mayor to build an avenue 30 meters wide and fit for a Paris of the Americas. It took a while, because property had to be condemned, and the street did not open until 1896, by which time Alvear had moved to a fine tomb in the Recoleta Cemetery. The street was designed by Juan Antonio Buschiazzo (1845-1917), uncle of Mario--the architect who designed the plaza's old town hall.

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