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housing for the masses

housing for the masses: ccm purchase

CCM, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, housing for the masses, vivienda social

This is great stuff… in the last week I’ve had 3 different people help me out with posts: Ernesto with San Telmo pics, Gabriel with explaining studying medicine in Argentina, & now Luis. His grandfather was the original owner of one of the CCM houses in the Barrio Varela-Bonorino in Flores (#17 of this series). Luis has been kind enough to share lots of interesting info with me & answer all of my nosy, personal questions 🙂 I asked a lot because I wanted to profile his family & give everyone an idea of the people who originally lived in those neighborhoods as well as some further details about the house itself.

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housing for the masses: barrio tellier-falcón, 1927

Barrio Tellier-Falcón, 1,680 units • Liniers
Lisandro de la Torre & Coronel Ramón Falcón

Better known as the Barrio de las Mil Casas… over 1500 houses built in the space of about 20 city blocks. It seems like the boxes go on forever! Many have been nicely maintained, & modifications remain faithful to the original design. There is a tree-filled plaza to break up the monotony & the neighborhood assembly is located across the street. There was a bit more variety than in other CCM projects, probably due to the sheer quantity of units constructed. It could use more plant life along wider streets, but it seemed like a nice place to live. I really liked the updated green house… yummy.

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housing for the masses: barrio segurola, 1925

Barrio Segurola, 650 units • Floresta
Avenida Segurola & César Diaz

After 9 days of rain, the sun is out again!! It has been stressful for my work schedule, but that’s hardly an issue compared to the 60,000 people who have their homes under water in Santa Fe & Rosario. A couple days ago I donated some non-perishable food items & a few packs of diapers to the Casa de Entre Ríos… it’s like a branch office of the provincial government here in BsAs. I don’t know how they will get donations to those in need, but hopefully there will be some way.

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housing for the masses: barrio emilio mitre, 1923

In post #3 of this series, an important point might easily go unnoticed:

“the national government never desired to be the sole provider of welfare in Argentina. They wanted to develop a model to demonstrate to private investors that housing projects were viable & could benefit everyone.”

All the projects written about thus far were funded either by the Argentine government, union groups or religious donations. Where were those elusive private investors?

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housing for the masses: para agentes policiales, 1926

Hogar Policial (no official name), 24 units • San Telmo
Avenida Independencia & Avenida Ingeniero Huergo

Throughout the previous posts in this series, you’ve seen a variety of solutions to the housing shortage in Buenos Aires after millions of immigrants arrived. To refresh your memory, there were three groups responsible for building housing projects:

  • religious organizations funded through donations
  • the Comisión Nacional de Casas Baratas with federal government funding
  • the privately-owned Compañía de Construcciones Modernas
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housing for the masses: unbuilt bereterbide

Fermín Bereterbide, unbuilt projects, Boletín del Honorable Concejo Deliberante 1939

Something that caught my eye while I was researching the history of BA housing is the large number of projects that were never built. Lots of factors prevented plans from becoming a reality… lack of funds, disagreement over execution, problems purchasing land, excessive construction costs, or even international conflicts. Take your pick. So when I come across plans of projects that could have been, it’s a bit like discovering a time capsule.

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housing for the masses: barrio parque los andes, 1928

Buenos Aires, Chacarita, Barrio Parque Los Andes, Wikipedia photo, circa 1930

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That must have been Fermín Bereterbide’s motto. Shortly after constructing his first housing project in the neighborhood of Flores, he won another city-sponsored contest for three more developments. Futuristically named “Alpha,” “Beta,” & “Gamma,” only the first was built. The others were destined for Palermo & Flores, but never became more than plans on paper… definitely a loss for Buenos Aires.

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