History of the neighborhood
(From book: Puerto Madero. .Lariviére
Editors, B.A., Arg.)
open doors to the earth".
to the "Oidor de Charcas" Juán de Matienzo
it suggested to the king the necessity to found a city there,
where Don Pedro de Mendoza seated first Buenos Aires in
1536, it insisted on the necessity "to open doors to
the Earth". In effect, already the urgency to establish
another communication channel with the Alto Peru was clear,
mainly Potosí, that not outside long and the risky
one that came from the Itsmo of Panama, arrived at Lima
and after crossing fragosas mountain ranges it arrived at
the great argentiferous center.
An entrance by the Rio de la Plata, with scales in Cordoba,
Santiago del Estero, Tucumán and Salta, was much
more short and without great natural obstacles.
So these disadvantages another one was
added: the wished port was not so. The western borders of
the estuary of the Silver were low and muddy, the depth of
waters in the neighborhoods of the new population was little
and the borders were spiny of rough.
To which the amount of existing sand banks had to be added
in all the passage of the river, from its mouth in the bad
Atlantic, obstacles known in the time which they meant mortal
dangers for navigation. With which "the Earth door"
was not more than a voluntarista initiative, that could
have andamiento in the future but which then, last decades
of Century XVI and first of the XVII, he was insurmountable.
Fragmento de espejo de agua en Pueto Madero.
"the route of the Silver".
No is to be strange, then, that the few
ships of registry, that is to say, authorized by Corona, to
arrive at Buenos Aires, had anchor to more than one legua
of the population, disembarking their merchandise and possible
passengers in small canoes or, if the waters were low, in
great carts thrown by oxen, that with the river to the chest
arduously managed to arrive at the border.
This, if it did not occur that sudden a sudestada one forced
the ships to remain days and days at sight of the coast without
being able to disembark or to embark people and goods.
port! And nevertheless there was another entrance to the South Continent
by he Atlantic part that could be used, and consequently Buenos
Aires, very slowly in the ginning, fué becoming the aim (or
no the principle according to it is watched) of "the route
of the Silver", that took to the Tucumán and to the
Peru stop. And also to Chile, because they did not lack travellers
who, instead of sailing as opposed to the atagónicas coasts
and surrounding to frightful the "Cabo de Hornos", they
referred o disembark in the City of Garay and to cross to horse
or in cart the expanded ampas that separated the Silver of the mountain
range of the $andes; with a nonexistent port, Buenos Aires was the
indispensable crossing site to arrive at the regions of the american
the City, pobrísima in the first decades of its existence
tapeworm goods not to buy and consequently the traffic by the river
lacked incentives. And this situation extended until the "Porteños"
we do not have idea of the importance of the leather, raw
material to elaborate all luck of objects. Not only shoes
but cartridge belt and straps for the soldiers, lining of
the axes of the vehicles, very many objects for the home,
even for linings of walls in the richest houses, petos and
armors, cases and other many things. Europe was always eager
for leather and here, in "Bonaerenses" Pampas, bovine
million of strayed.
towards 1620, when the period of vaquerías began. Eight or
ten energetic men joined themselves to go to the immensity of Pampas.
they detected a roundup of bovine without owner, entered horse
the set and hamstring to the head of cattle with a species
of lance. As soon as they verified that a great number of
bovine was in the ground, they were them beheading and they
take skin off them. All the rest of the animal, meat, bones,
spears, was there in a total waste.
were packed in carts and soon in Buenos Aires, they were cured and
later they were loaded in the ships that arrived to transport them
to Europe. The leather, then, became the main element of export
whereupon the "Porteños" counted, and that currency
allowed them to concern what the city needed, in the first place
Operation to load leathers was long and difficult since there was
to arrive until the ships in cart. A wharf, although outside small,
had facilitated the operation but, already we know, nothing had
in the city of Garay that outside the inkling of harbor.
Airs had been elevated in 1617 to the category of head of the Interior
of Rio de la Plata. But the presence of the successive governors
did not mean any harbor improvement. On the contrary, many governors
were implied in ontrabands or in the unavoidable closings of ships
supposedly arrived by necessity, that in fact they came so that
its shipment was come to ruin to a group of neighbors who bought
it to vile price with the complicity of authorities.
Plaza de la Santísima Trinidad, Puerto
de Sta. María de Buenos Ayres. 1782
at least were improvements for the disembarkation of people
when the English, in 1720 and as a result of the treaty of
Utrech, obtained the monopoly of the traffic of slaves in
the Rio de la Plata. The unfortunate black, later of a marine
passage, generally long and laborious, al to arrive in front
of Good Airs were taken in small canoes or carts, chained,
to the deposits that the British company had raised in Retirement
and close del present Lezama park.
the African had to recover of the trip until undertaking a new passage,
this time towards the interior and possibly the "Alto Peru"
for their sale. It was so the malodorousness which they dismissed
the sheds where they lodged to the black that were complaints of
the neighbors and sometimes they had to be transferred more to other
moved away sites of the city.
a perfect bay.
at a half to del Century XVIII was appearing an admirable
competitor to the harbor condition of Buenos Aires. One was
Montevideo, that from its foundation by Bruno Mauricio de
Zavala began to dream about replacing to the Porteña
city in its character of "Door of the Earth". There
were reasons to caress this illusion: Montevideo counted on
a perfect bay, very defensible, a natural harbor of infinitely
superior conditions for the traffic of people and Good merchandises
that Buenos Aires.
its access by water was optimal. But naturally, the Eastern city,
so that the passengers or the merchandises entered to the interior,
had to transpose two great natural obstacles: the rivers Uruguay
and Parana. Anyway, the jealousy of the Porteños retailers
front to their possible rival lasted many years: so many, that towards
1805 the Consulate of Buenos Aires was against to that a light in
the entrance of the montevideano port was placed. And towards aims
of century XIX, the great transatlantic packet boats and that united
this part of the continent with Europe cast anchor in Montevideo,
and the passengers of and for Buenos Aires had to take the small
ships that cross a Rio de la Plata to embark or to disembark in
the Uruguayan capital.
this rivalry between the two cities rivereñas was one of
the reasons for pertinaz resistance of Artigas to the "Porteña"
as it is, just in 1771, on the eve of the erection of Buenos
Aires like capital of the Virreinato of Rio de la Plata, governor
Juán Jose Vértiz ordered to a project from wharf
to the Engineer Francisco Rodriguez and Cardozo, who did not
take shape. The same luck ran the order that in 1780 made
the Virrey Marquess of Loreto to the sailor and engineer Domingo
Pallaré. When "El Vireey del Pino" was in
1802 indeed initiated the construction of a wharf, projected
by engineer Martín Boneo. Well found as opposed to
of Favor and had only thirty and five meters in length, and
although it was small and vulnerable to great sudestadas,
as it were demonstrated in 1805 when it was destruído
by a storm, allowed at least that the passengers did not have
to chapalear in the mud and tufas of the borders before stepping
Del Río de la
Plata al Estrecho de Magallanes. Plano
of Independence distracted to bottoms and preoccupations towards
the great objective of the emancipation, so that the intense traffic
generated from 1810 continued being made of the primitive way of
always. But the retailers, in special the English, pressed so that
some facilities were carried out that facilitated the tasks.
In 1820, the English engineer James Bevans made the project of a
wharf, that Happy Castro and Guillermo Robertson elevated to the
government of the penetrated province of Buenos Aires "of the
necessity of a wharf that feels like every day more in our port".
And on the other hand, Bernardino Rivadavia made contract in Europe
the engineer Carlos Pellegrini with the same object; the civil wars
threw all these initiatives.
something became, although not directly related to the port but
to the creek of the estuary. In 1845 the construction of a strong
wall that contained waters throughout the stroll known like "La
Alameda", inaugurated in 1804 by the Virrey Sobremonte, between
the Rivadavia avenue and Corrientes avenue.
strong wall had five meters of stop, with a dig in of pillars began
that maintained iron fence. Bricks were used for the construction
of the furnaces of Juán Manuel de Rosas, Governor of Buenos
Aires in that then. The work was inaugurated in January of 1847
and although the Legislature solved to give the strong wall and
to the adjacent stroll the name of the extinct woman of Roses, this
requested that Stroll of Julio was denominated and thus fué
known until the principle this siglo.El strong wall did not solve
the problem of the nonexistent port, but at least avoided that great
the sudestadas ones took waters of the river until street "25
de Mayo", leaving remainders of all kind.
Aires: wealth model and prosperity.
after the fall of Roses, the province of Buenos Aires separated
of the rest of the Confederation, the "porteños"
leaders raised with much clarity his prioridades. In this sense
was fundamental that Buenos Aires asentuara its intermediary condition,
because only the customs income would qualify it for the enormous
expenses that the rebellious province had to confront: in the first
place, to maintain the forces necessary to preserve the Buenosairean
autonomy forehead to the confederal attacks, soon to arm to the
State with all the attributes of the power and finally to make of
Buenos Aires a model of wealth and prosperity that outside an example
for the provinces that responded to the government of Panama.
it, first was to construct something similar to a port and to erect
1854 the Governing Pastor Obligado promulgates a law by which he
authorizes his government to invest until million two hundred thousand
pesos in the construction of a wharf for passengers. Joaquin Tudury
caused the construction of a great breakwater on the river to make
a port of cabotage. Emilio Castro proposes a great wharf in front
of the city. Juán M. Carreras also bets to a wharf, but on
the Brook. Vicente Cáceres, Rafael Trelles, Juán Martín
Estrada display diverse projects. Finally, assign to a commission
that orders to Gerardo Bosch the construction of the soft discussed
one. In February of 1855 the works begin, that are inaugurated solemnly
in September of that same year.
Muelle de pasajeros. 1855
works had been directed by English engineer Edward Taylor. The wharf
perpendicularly rose to the "Stroll of Julio" between
the present streets Bartholome Mitre and Sarmiento and extended
on the river throughout 210 meters.
It was elaborated
in hard wood and in its central part a route had been placed that
towards possible the use of delivery trucks for loads and luggage.
By initiative of Prilidiano Pueyrredón two kiosks construídos
in Great Britain settled in the entrance, of octagonal form with
channeled plates and fused iron structure, for use of the employees
of the customs. Four rubblework pillars with vases and allegorical
figures gave the welcome to the travellers. Years later a light
of almost ten meters of height settled there. Also they were added,
with time, four windlasses and another kiosk of form circular.
A this humble
wharf - that was demolished when the works of "Puerto Madero"
began - arrived the rest of Rivadavia, San Martín and Sarmiento.
the wharf was the building of the customs or New Customs, that began
to also construct in 1855, on the planes elaborated by Tylor engineer.
It was a construction in chamber that Hard took advantage of the
pit the old one, on ravines of
the river and after the facade this of the rest of the same one.
He was separated of these by a street that later was taken advantage
of to tend rails of the railroad to Ensenada.
Aduana Nueva de Taylor. 1855
has two floors with windows of arc of half point and contained
a place for merchandise deposit - the great reclamation of
Bartholome Mitre from the pages of the press - as well as
a yard of maneuvers and a tower of three
was the great building that the travellers watched when they were
arriving at Buenos Aires by the river. The Customs was everything
a symbol of the aspirations of the Buenosairean city. At the moment,
the rest of their deposit comprise of the Museum of the House of
Government and when crossing them it cannot let admire the nobility
and construction of his factory, as well as the yearning of progress
evidently, these constructions did not give to definitive solutions
to the problems derived from the load and merchandise unloading
and to the boarding and disembarkation of people. The ships that
arrived at Buenos Aires had greater openwork, navigation to steam
became general and the immigrants arrived every time in greater
number. After the battle of Pavón (1861), when the Argentina
Nation was unified and the national government settled in the Buenosairean
city, the subject of the port acquired an enormous importance. The
projects that appeared in ahead and many were several the controversies
that provoked: just in the decade of 1880 the
construction of a port was begun like which it needed the country.
Nevertheless, a private company constructed a wharf in under "Las
Catalinas", to the height of the Charcas Street, in the middle
of the decade of 1870; the levee went into in the river and made
a right angle to attenuate the surge. It was demolished when the
definitive works of harbor.
Huergo or Puerto Madero”.
to review the ups and downs that underwent the diverse projects,
nothing better than to follow the synthesis that the North American
historian does James R. Scobie in his book "Buenos Aires, from
Downtown to the Neighborhood".
the 1870 governments of the Nation and the province of Buenos Aires
subscribed a contract with the prestigious English engineer John
F. Bateman, that had participated in works of water-drainage of
London in 1871, leaving the planes that elaborated into the hands
of the authorities. It proposed a great dock in front of Seat of
May at that it would be arrived by two channels, one to the north
and another one to the south until the Brook. Its plan was object
of demolishers critics and finally it was not taken into account.
Also it proposed a project Guillermo Rigoni: a circular dock to
five kilometers of the coast, very expensive work, almost faraónica,
that also were left of lado.En reality, the discussions of the decade
of ´70 and principles of ´80 were centered in the antagonistic
proposals of two personalities which they polarized opinions, I
interest and political and journalistic forces after their people.
It was, it could be said, a fight prolonged and ardent between two
Luis Huergo had been born in Buenos Aires of a family of rich retailers.
He did his first studies in a jesuita school of Maryland, the United
States. In 1870 he was received from civil engineer in the University
of Buenos Aires: she was the first professional of this branch that
obtained its diploma in that house of studies. Senator in the Legislature
of Buenos Aires was delegated and and constructed bridges, ways,
channels and works of irrigation. But its great dream was to project
and to construct the port of Buenos Aires and to this objective
dedicated to good part of his life.
Eduardo Madero, born in Buenos Aires in 1832 in a family
dedicated to farming workings, founded a company dedicated
to export and import and also seted out to present a project
of port with the technology support and British capitals.
and Madero, two personages - admirable by his perseverancia
and the ability whereupon they knew to attract adhesions
his respective proposals - that incarnated two ideas different
to equip Buenos Aires with the entrance and exit that it
would connect to Argentina with Europe. Both they hit repeated
times, both they were able to popularize its respective
projects, both mobilized to newspapers, the politicians,
the forces of the commerce after its projects. Finally,
as we see, Madero prevailed, although it passed away before
the port that would take its name finished being constructed.
Eduardo Madero (1832 – 1894)
Huergo proposed to use the Brook and its environs, to canalize it
and to qualify it for the entrance of ships of great openwork. As
well, Madero had the idea to construct the facilities to the front
of the "Plaza de Mayo", with a dock and two channels of
access. Around these conceptions it turned the fight that would
be to get rid until half-full of the decade of ´80.
Huergo represented, says Scobie, "the Creole tradition and
the nationalistic development of the Argentine economy", as
well as Madero looked for the modernization and the progress on
the base of the capitals and the european technics.
to England in the middle of the decade of ´60 and returned
with its concrete proposal that was accepted by the Department of
the Interior. One was to construct two docks, a drydock and a deep
water channel forehead to Seat of May. Mitre, that was national
senator, with the support of its newspaper the Nation, fully was
against the project, affirming that this it had to study thoroughly
in the Congress. Finally the contract project with Madero was retired
of the same one. Defeat of Madero, well.
Huergo obtained in 1875 that the government of the province, with
the assent of the national authorities, trusted the partial execution
to him of his project: that is to say, to modify the mouth of the
Brook and to dredge a channel of access of nine feet.
Work in dam
2, inaugurated in 1890
slowly, the works were advancing and by the end of 1878 some overseas
boats could cast anchor in the Brook and berth in the deposits of
the Mouth. Of course, this meant a greater commercial activity in
the South part of Buenos Aires. But the conflicts of 1880 finished
with the subsidies promised by the government provincial.
by the end of the 1880 government of Argentine Julio Roca paid most
of the engaged subsidy and Huergo traveled to England to order new
dredges. In 1881 the Legislature of the Province voted a game for
dredged of the Brook until veintiun the feet and Huergo, as well,
added to its project the construction of a series of parallel docks
that were constructed on the coast until the "Plaza de Mayo",
protected by a breakwater. Triumph for Huergo then.
overseas port in the Boca.
possibility that the Mouth was constructed in the Port of Buenos
Aires was not utopian. From half-full of Century XIX a numerous,
originating population had settled there in its majority of genoveses,
that had marine experience and operated the fluvial
commerce. Several small shipyards existed and the Brook was an ideal
refuge apparently for the great ones sudestadas that used to whip
the coasts of the river. An overseas port in the Mouth would still
mean the putting in value of the South zone of the city and of the
adjacent territory, Brook by means, pertaining to the province of
Newspaper "La Prensa" supported this idea enthusiastically
and the senator Adolph Dávila, tie to the newspaper of La
Paz affirmed in the Senate, in 1882, that the Congress already had
been expressed in the sense that the port of Buenos Aires had to
be constructed in the Mouth and that the national government had
to be in charge of the work. Definitive triumph of Huergo?
Madero did not waste the time. In 1881 it traveled to London, where
it managed to jeopardize the advising of sir John Hawkshaw, perhaps
the most prestigious engineer of England, and the promise of Baring
Brothers to provide the necessary bottoms. The plan included four
docks and two channels, to the north and the south, all it on earth
gained to the river between Retirement and the neighborhoods of
the Mouth, with the main axis to the front of the Seat of May. In
June 1882 it formally presented these plan to the Argentine authorities.
the panorama was opened. Between September and October of 1882 the
Congress approved a law that it authorized to the Executive authority
to contract with Madero the construction of the port. A shining
speech of Carlos Pellegrini was determining for the approval of
the project in Deputies and in the Senate only rose to a voice for
those in favor of Huergo could exhibit as an important profit the
fact that the transatlantic "L'Italia", with an openwork
of fifteen feet, had been able to cast anchor in the Brook. In fact,
veintitres percents of the boats arrived at thirty and the five
Buenos Aires and percent of their tonnage arrived at the Mouth.
But Madero, with the triumph of the law in its hand, returned to
England to confirm the technical attendance of Hawkshaw and the
financier of Baring Brothers, as well as the hiring of companies
that would provide the necessary machines for the works. Now yes,
everything went away put back oin track.
1884 ends President Roca subscribed the definitive contract in a
solemn ceremony which they attended Mitre, Sarmiento and Avellaneda,
that subscribe next to the President of the Nation the writing that
to this end is worked. They ratify therefore the inmanente will
of unit, greatness, prosperity and commercial development in all
the towns of the world.
his part, Huergo - that anyway had continued fighting by its project
and had had the satisfaction to see arrive at the Brook the English
boat "Mac Duff" with an openwork from almost twenty feet,
in October of 1883 - it decided to lay down the arms in January
of 1886. It had freed a good fight and it had lost. It followed,
almost until his death, generating publications and conferences
in defense of his thesis, while to the same front of the historical
seat they were risen to the docks and docks that his rival projected.
Madero: a reality.
was a titanic work that was
carried out with an impressive continuity in spite of the changes
of government and the difficult economic conditions of the country.
The company of Madero contract in Great Britain to Armstrong, Mitchell
and Ci'a. In order to make hydraulic works and to Thomas To Walker
for civil works; two corporations ordered of works until his conclusión.En
January of 1889 inaugurated first dock, to the south in act solemn
to that it attended president Pellegrini, who in the occasion called
"Puerto Madero" to the emprendimiento, and thus was for
always. In 1890 docks one and two were inaugurated. In 1891 the
works were suspended by the severe crisis that affected the country.
But the sectors leaders of Buenos Aires knew that it was urgent
and essential to finish with the work of the port and in 1892, with
the subsidies voted by the Congress, concluded dock three. Another
credit in 1895 allowed to conclude the task: Madero had passed away
a year before.
Madero in 1912. Premature decline.
1897 got rid to the service dock four, located near of "Retiro",
and a year later it was qualified so discussed channel of
the north. Finally, Puerto Madero in 1912 was a reality. From
the same center of the city the red constructions of the deposits,
built with brought bricks of England and the silhouettes of
the ships were seen that berthed in their docks. Altogether,
the work had cost thirty and six million weights gold, ten
and six million more of the original budget.
when the port was finished, it was clear that already it was small.
It had not been an error in the construction: what it happened was
that the growth of the traffic of merchandises of export and import,
as well as the movement of passengers increased of exponential way.
Nobody had been able to preveer similar increase: in 1910, for example,
one calculated in the thirty thousand boats that entered and left
stuffed it mainly and, the merchandise transport until the same
one. From "Plaza Once"to"Plaza de Mayo", the
cars delayed very many time and later they had to crowd in front
of the docks to load or to unload. The slowness of this process
was uneconomical and the protests take over.
the government of President Roca summoned North American engineer
Elmer Cothell so that it suggested solutions. The technician, specialist
in ports in his country, proposed a jetty which he would avoid the
attacks of the river, which sometimes they made difficult to the
works in the dock located more to norte.
A year later,
the government sent to Europe to two Argentine engineers, Gustavo
Jolly and Luis Curutchet, to study harbor problems, but its report
was not considered. Another engineer, a Dutch who directed the Port
of Hamberes considered that the problem was not as much in the port
as in its administration, little efficient. It is possible that,
as a result of this report, the "General Supervision Of Harbor"
sure is that the "Puerto Madero"was insufficient for the
function that had to fulfill. And here the history of the undertake
would have to finish but it is possible to add that this evidence
took to the construction of the call New Port, whose works concluded
just in 1926.
Strategic Plaza de Mayo.
the sigificación of "Puerto Madero"we can transcribe
the words whereupon Scobie closes the chapter dedicated to this
work: "the commercial group arisen from Independence and specially
from half-full from Century XIX, tended to settle down to the north
of the "Plaza de Mayo". Therefore, wholesalers and retailers,
I interest furniture and transports tended to take root with evident
persistence in the areas the west and north of the plaza. The construction
of the most important facilities of the port, immediately to the
east of the same one reinforced this tendency, guaranteeing the
prosperity and expansion of the group.
authorities belonged to a large extent - at least after the formation
of an effective national authority under the presidency of Mitre
in 1862 - to this commercial group and provincial political sectors
that had come to Buenos Aires and which they also supported decidedly
the concentration on Seat of May and its accesses the west and north
". "In addition, the import and exporting influence of
the foreign banks and interests, together with to the financial
commitments of the national authorities and the more recent commercial
interests, decidedly favored to the "Puerto Madero". The
Englishman, because of their narrow commercial entailments with
Argentina, as well as by their recent investments in railroads,
gas, companies of street cars and loans to the national government,
and assumed the main role when providing technical assistance and
capital for the Madero Project. For all these groups, the huge plan
of Madero offered many more possibilities for the speculation and
the enrichment that most modest of Huergo. The great earth surface
that were to win to the river, the necessary men and machines for
the construction, the opportunities of speculations in real estate
and the promise of a greater expansion in the commercial activity
contributed to wake up an intense enthusiasm (...) the construction
of "Puerto Madero", consequently, reinforced the centralization
of the city in the "Plaza de Mayo".
Madero: vision and creative capacity.
far , the North American
historian. Let us add, by our part, that "Puerto Madero"
filled an uninhabited urban space and rustic, it closed the
river with beautiful and imposing constructions and constituted
during several decades the entrance and exit of the country
towards overseas. Finished its function now has another destiny,
also tie closely to our city, the improvement of its urban
contour and to the quality of life of its inhabitants. This
could not it have dreamed Eduardo Madero, but it also means
a tribute to his vision and its creative capacity.
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