housing for the masses: master list

Housing for the Masses, Buenos Aires, housing projects

I can’t lie… I’m proud of this series of posts written in 2007 & 2008. While only the years from 1910 to 1950 are covered, researching & photographing housing projects in Buenos Aires became a passion. La Teja compiled more information in 2010, & I’m thrilled that they included projects up to the present. But I’m content with being first and making this info available in English ;-)

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housing for the masses: barrio 17 de octubre, 1950

Buenos Aires, Barrio 17 de Octubre, 1950, Villa Pueyrredón

Like several other Perón era housing projects, a name change occurred after military leaders ousted the President. 17 October 1945 marked the birth of Perón’s political presence when workers marched on Plaza de Mayo, demanded he be released from jail & requested his nomination as President. Later consecrated as the Día de la Lealtad & made a national holiday, such a polemic moment in history could not survive the anti-Perón years which followed the coup.

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housing for the masses: barrio juan perón, 1949

Buenos Aires, Saavedra, Barrio Juan Perón, 1949

…this 1949 project represents the first successful attempt to think outside the standard, Buenos Aires grid plan. No government-sponsored housing project had ever been attempted on such a large scale. The layout is not symmetrical, but it comes close. City limits obviously cramped the design since Avenida General Paz slices through the “U”, so planners extended the left (actually southwest) side slightly to compensate.

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housing for the masses: barrio 1º de marzo, 1948

Buenos Aires, Saavedra, Barrio 1º de Marzo, 1948

In the same year that the concrete blocks of Barrio Balbastro housed families in Bajo Flores, a completely new idea popped up in Saavedra: the chalet californiano, single story houses set back from the street with terracotta roofs & wooden shutters. Based on Jesuit missions in California, a certain sector of the upper class loved this imported & definitely foreign style. The Perón government brought it to the people.

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housing for the masses: barrio balbastro, 1948

Buenos Aires, Flores, Barrio Balbastro, 1948

Welcome to the Perón era. With only four projects built in the previous 20 years, no doubt a housing crisis for lower income workers affected Buenos Aires… and provided good enough reason to eliminate the CNCB. Perón’s support came from the working class, so it’s not surprising that he began to cater to their needs.

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