Buenos Aires is a city of contrasts and it is in these two Buenos Aires neighborhoods that you will notice them in an unparalleled way. On the one hand we have the charming Retiro neighborhood, office space, five star hotels, glass towers, Art Deco skyscrapers and magnificent railway stations.
But if we walk a few meters behind the train tracks we will run into Barrio 31, an emergency settlement that emerged in the 1930s, but grew by leaps and bounds since the 70s and after the economic crisis of 2001. This emergency villa that is located under the highway piles and on the railroad grounds is gradually being integrated into the city, improving its basic infrastructure and urban services.
In the center of the city, north of Microcentro and east of Barrio Norte.
Metro Line C (San Martín y Retiro) y Line E (Retiro y Catalinas)
Bus Lines: 5, 6, 9, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 33, 45, 50, 56, 61, 62, 70, 75, 91, 92, 100, 101, 106, 108, 126, 129, 130, 132, 143, 150, 194 y 195
Inaugurated in 1862 where a bullring had previously existed, this park is the main green space of the Retiro neighborhood and a point of reference throughout the downtown area of the city of Buenos Aires. During the hot months, its green grass is used by office workers to make mini picnics their lunch hour. On its sides we can see two of the most distinguished buildings in the city, such as the Kavanagh skyscraper or the Peace Palace, occupied by the Military Circle.
This square is named after General José de San Martín, one of the founding fathers of the country and a majestic equestrian statue remembers them on its north side. And on its south side is the Monument to the Fallen andthe Malvinas war, a cenotaph erected in honor of those who fell in the South Atlantic War.
Opened in 1936, this impressive 120 meter high Art Deco skyscraper was once the tallest reinforced concrete building in South America and is undoubtedly still one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Buenos Aires. This tower was built by the Kavanagh Family, and according to a popular legend, its history is wrapped in a mantle of humiliation and revenge, something that makes it even more interesting.
The 14th floor of this building has the record of being the most expensive apartment in all of Buenos Aires, it has two terraces with a 360 degree view of all of Buenos Aires. According to a survey conducted by the Clarín newspaper to 600 people not specialized in architecture, the Kavanagh was chosen as the most beautiful building in all of Buenos Aires.
This gigantic brick tower located opposite San Martin Square, was built by British residents in the city to commemorate the centenary of the May Revolution. Almost all the material for its construction was brought directly from England. Although its official name was changed during the Falklands War to “Monumental Tower”, in popular culture it is still known by its original name, that of “Torre de los Ingleses”.
In the highest part of the tower there are a set of four gigantic clocks and a viewpoint, which can be accessed by a modern glazed elevator. The entrance costs about $ 100 ARS and can be visited from Monday to Friday from 10.30 to 16.30 and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9.30 to 18.30.
This settlement is one of the oldest and most populous villas in the city. Its history dates back to the year 1932, in the midst of an economic crisis, when a group of Polish and Italian immigrants settled in railroad sheds and little by little the neighborhood grew with precarious houses built with veneers. Already in the 40s the European immigration flow entered its final stage and in parallel numerous internal migrations arose as a result of the crises that the regional economies were suffering.
Despite the many projects to regularize these homes, none came to be done and in the 1970s there were already 16,000 people settled in Villa 31, a number that doubled in later years. From the 90s the appearance of the neighborhood began to change and you can no longer see sheet metal houses but narrow brick constructions that grow in height and in many cases reach three and up to four floors. Although at one time it had a reputation as a “dangerous” neighborhood, in recent years it has been trying to urbanize the town, with the construction of new social housing and the opening of streets, it is even planned to build an underground station in the heart of the villa and turn part of the highway that passes over the houses in an elevated park.