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Wed May 25, 2016, 10:53 AM

Buenos Aires' famous British clock tower celebrates centennial.

Appropriately enough, bearing in mind the weather of the two countries, it was a cold yet bright day in Buenos Aires as the Torre de los Ingleses (“English Residents’ Tower”), that iconic landmark of the Retiro neighbourhood, celebrated its centenary. Scores of people gathered at the clock tower yesterday to celebrate the longstanding Anglo-Argentine friendship.

Dedicated by British inhabitants of Buenos Aires, the tower was completed exactly 100 years ago yesterday in 1916. The 248-foot monument has long been one of the stand-out features of sprawling San Martín Plaza. British and Argentine residents of the City alike came out in force yesterday to celebrate.

“We wanted to celebrate the Tower’s 100th birthday so we got in touch with the City of Buenos Aires authorities and our joint efforts have made today a real success,” John Hunter, Chairman of the Anglo-Argentine Community Council (ABCC), told the Herald.

“This tower was donated by the British residents in Argentina, it wasn’t a gift from the King or the Parliament or the British government, and I think that’s important for our relations,” he added.

Among those speaking at the ceremony were Roddy Cameron, the grandson of Ben Gardom (who helped build the tower itself); British Embassy Counsellor Richard Barlow (soon to be chargé d’affaires); and Gregory Venables, the British Anglican archbishop for Southern Argentina, who praised the “important and stunning day” in the sunshine before offering a short prayer with the assembled congregation.

While acknowledging an at times uneven state of affairs in Anglo-Argentine relations over the years, Hunter told the Herald that his organization’s visibility had been dulled since the 1982 Falklands War; but that it remained a robust and active community hub now finding its foothold again. “It’s a very big community. Britain had such an influence here in so many different aspects, and it’s our task to make that legacy known and to let British people know there’s an entity they can join and come to our events and keep connected,” he said.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/214928/ba%E2%80%99s-famous-clocktower-celebrates-centennial

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Reply Buenos Aires' famous British clock tower celebrates centennial. (Original post)
forest444 May 2016 OP
Judi Lynn May 2016 #1
forest444 May 2016 #2
Judi Lynn May 2016 #3
forest444 May 2016 #4
Judi Lynn May 2016 #5

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Wed May 25, 2016, 09:05 PM

1. Interesting historical information. Didn't know about this Tower.

Looks as if some country is just wild about giant clocks!

I would imagine it was very useful at all times when it was inaugurated, and a long time afterward.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Thu May 26, 2016, 12:22 AM

2. Oh, sure. It was built in front of the train station - and they do make great landmarks.

Clock towers, like soccer, were popularized in Argentina by the British. It might surprise many, given all the flap around the Falklands; but Britain had a significant economic, cultural, and architectural influence over Argentina between 1880 and 1920.

And yes, the clock towers that still grace numerous Argentine cities are probably the most visible examples of this influence. Here are a few of my other favorites (built in several different styles, not just English):

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Buenos Aires City Legislature (1931)[/center]

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Usina del Arte (1916)[/center]

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Mariano Moreno Bus Station (1929)[/center]

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Bariloche Civic Center (1940)[/center]

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La Plata City Hall (1888)[/center]

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Response to forest444 (Reply #2)

Sat May 28, 2016, 11:20 PM

3. Beautiful towers. Usina del Arte is wonderful. Is it Spanish? It is wonderful.

The domes on the clock tower and the building of Mariano Moreno Bus Station reminded me of reading that Italian architects were used in creating the huge buildings in Russia at the time of Peter the great, or before, and they were the ones responsible for those amazing onion domes there, allegedly based on information they had learned working around the Mediterranean areas with Moorish architecture influence.

The clock tower at the Bariloche Civic Center is the one which really stood out, had to go find more pictures of that building!

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Is this the same area where President Obama and family went after they met with Mauricio Macri?

How do they ever get people to go home, once they've been up there and fallen in love with the place? I can genuinely say every time I've been in the mountains I deeply wished I could stay there and NEVER go back down to the flat land ever again.

Maybe they should start getting people to sign agreements before they go up stating they will go home after the agreed upon time.

So beautiful!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Sun May 29, 2016, 12:37 AM

4. Beautiful photos of Bariloche, Judi! Here's hoping you can visit someday soon.

To answer your question: yes; that was indeed where the Obamas went on the second day of their Argentine visit. Not to the city of Bariloche itself, actually; but to the more secluded Llao Llao Hotel (pronounced 'shaho-shaho') a few miles to the west. President Obama even posted a photo of the lake to his Twitter feed, citing it as an example of the need to combat climate change because "it's exactly the kind of place we need to protect for our kids."

Here's an interesting article on his visit, complete with the history of other U.S. presidents who've also visited: http://www.politico.com/magazine/gallery/2016/03/obama-spring-break-bariloche-000625?slide=0

As for the clock towers, you have a very good architectural eye Judi.

The bus station, located in the city of Rosario, was originally designed as a train station by two architects: a French immigrant (Henri Chanourdié) and an Italian immigrant (Antonio Micheletti). Like many landmarks from Argentina's golden age (1880-1930) its design was eclectic; but with strong French and Italian influences.

The Bariloche Civic Center was built by the federal government as part of a plan in the late 1930s to promote tourism in the Argentine lake country. The Alpine chalet style, designed by local architect Ernesto de Estrada, later caught on among Argentine home builders in a number of different variations - notably the 'Mar del Plata style' (a combination of Alpine and California Mission architecture).

The Usina del Arte (Arts Powerhouse) was originally built in 1916 as the main power station for the Italian-Argentine Electric Company (CIADE; the country's second largest electric utility at the time). The Florentine Revival design was indeed the work of an Italian immigrant (Giovanni Chiogna), and he designed numerous other smaller plants and substations for CIADE throughout Buenos Aires - all in that same Neo-Florentine style.

To his credit, Macri had the building restored during his relatively productive first term as mayor; it was reopened in 2012 as the above-named cultural center (which President Obama also visited last March).

Thank you as always for your observations, and for your tireless research. I don't know how you do it!

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2016, 02:12 AM

5. Amazing photos. Imagine getting stuck with Menem! Oh, no.

Should have guessed Teddy Roosevelt would have had to huff and puff his way up there, too. He seemed convinced he was the world's greatest adventurer.

Eisenhower was just getting the for serious ball rolling with the CIA headed by Allan Dulles. They overthrew their first leftist President together in 1954, in United Fruit's Guatemala, with both Dulles brothers actively engaged in United Fruit operations.

Apparently he had time to keep a close eye on Chile, too, as did his vice-President, Richard Nixon. What a shame for the country.

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The towers of Argentina are truly special. It's so cool you've taken the time to let us know about these monuments around the country. Very distinctive, completely interesting.


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