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housing for the masses: barrio varela-bonorino, 1925

Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 902 units • Flores
both sides of Avenida Eva Perón along Coronel Estebán Bonorino

The CCM saga continues…

No new surprises in the size or shape of houses, but this neighborhood is large… 17 city blocks big. Most of the houses appear to be in fair to poor condition with major modifications. Changes made are consistent throughout all the CCM neighborhoods, such as:

* Modernizing windows. Original windows were tall & narrow so many owners have enlarged them. Some of the smaller windows have been removed.

* Adding more floors above. I’ve seen an entire floor stacked on top as well as balconies or pergolas.

* Changing the façade. Exterior concrete work wasn’t very decorative so many owners have added personal touches… some good, some horrendous.

* Enclosing the patio. Sometimes a garage is added or what was previously an open patio is now enclosed & gated.

More examples:

Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 1925
Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 1925
Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 1925
Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 1925
Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 1925

The original building plan was fairly compact, but each house had adequate space & light. I’m dying to get into one of the original units. Someone want to invite me to take pics?

Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 1925
Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Varela-Bonorino, 1925

I’m usually an advocate for maintaining original structures intact, but when a building lacks personality it can only be expected that the owner will make changes. Times change & houses usually change along with their owners. Updates add individuality & character that was previously missing. Even though it’s a shame most of these houses are not in their original condition, it’s understandable.

I saw a woman watering her plants so I stopped to chat with her… we ended up talking for a half hour! Once she found out I was from the US, she had to tell me about all her trips there & various passport problems. Pretty funny. But she also told me that while modifying the interior, she found some tiles with lion decorations. She assumed that the house had been built by a British company… & she was right!

Update (17 July 2012): The Instituto de Arte Americano has just made available 127 scanned photos of works that the GEOPÉ (Compañía General de Obras Públicas) participated in. They must have been subcontractors because they list the CCM as the property owner. The aerial view is pretty spectacular:

Buenos Aires, Barrio Varela, GEOPÉ

Update (14 Jan 2013): The incredibly detailed webpage Historia y Arqueologia Marítima has made available a collection of aerial photographs taken circa 1925 by friends Juan Bautista Borra & Enrique Broszeit. Pioneers in the field, they captured the changing look of Buenos Aires from a unique perspective… and naturally quite a few housing projects which were the newest thing:

Barrio Cafferata

Direct link → Master list of all Housing for the Masses posts.

2 thoughts on “housing for the masses: barrio varela-bonorino, 1925”

  1. Cuando estés de regreso por Buenos Aires, envíame un mail. Vivo con mi familia en una de estas casitas (casi enfrente de la casa donde vivió originalmente  el poeta Baldomero Fernández Moreno. La casa donde vivo no está en estado original, pero quizas podamos charlar con alguno de los vecinos cuyacasa giarde la estructura primaria todavía y quizás puedas tomar fotos. Avisame. Serás bienvenido!

  2. Hola Gerardo – Mil gracias! Seguro que hay pocas casas que mantienen el estado original hoy en día pero igual, me encantaría verlas por dentro… qué oportunidad! La semana pasada encontré más información sobre la empresa que construyó las casas pero sigo sin tiempo para actualizar el blog. Te agradezco y estamos en contacto, saludos!

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