buenos aires: then & now, ex-bodegas giol

ex-Bodegas Giol, Palermo, Buenos Aires 2005

ex-Bodegas Giol, Palermo, Buenos Aires 2010

Situated along the train tracks in Palermo, restoration & reuse of the former warehouse of the Giol winery is advancing rapidly. Photos above are from 2005 & 2010, respectively.

The winery’s website describes their history: Italians Juan Giol, Bautista Gargantini & Pascual Toso arrived together in Mendoza in the 1880s & established successful vineyards. The fourth generation, now intermarried, continues the family tradition under the San Polo label. Pascual Toso has become recognized winery in its own right. No info is available online about when this particular warehouse was built, but I’d guess the 1930s or 1940s based on the architectural style… textbook Racionalismo.

In October 2009, President Cristina Kirchner announced plans to convert the abandoned building into the new Ministry of Science, Technology, & Product Innovation (currently at Avenida Córdoba & Esmeralda). Apart from the ministry itself, the enormous 18,000 square meter space will also house the organizations CONICET & AGENCIA, a new museum, plus biotech & physics labs.

Monthly progress reports were previously available on the Ministry’s website but have since been removed. Financed by a loan of $100 million pesos from the Inter-American Development Bank, the building should be inaugurated by the end of 2012. The surrounding area—already with serious traffic problems—will need to be reorganized. Cooperation between the national & city governments probably will not happen anytime soon, but the ambitious project seems to be off to a good start.

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