Of the many different solutions proposed & built to solve the Argentine housing crisis, it’s easy to forget how innovative they really were. We’re used to seeing modern versions as apartment complexes & condominiums. Big deal. But it was the first time that they had ever been built in Argentina. One hundred years ago in Buenos Aires, none of those types of living quarters existed. Zero.Read More »housing for the masses: casa chorizo
housing for the masses
Microbarrio Monseñor Espinosa, 1923 • Barracas
Perdriel & California
Contrasting greatly with the previous complex, these semi-detached chalets are like a little piece of paradise. Also built with fundraising money from the Unión Popular Católica Argentina, land was donated by the Pereyra Iraola & Herrera Vega families. Gardens cut through 60 units in a cross shape, & note that this is not the size of a city block… but it’s about half of an overly large block. In fact, the odd shape is due to following the diagonal line of the existing layout. Designed by Carlos Cucullu, it has been wonderfully maintained & I would love to live there.Read More »housing for the masses: microbarrio monseñor espinosa, 1923
Inspired by the action of Azucena Butteler, numerous private & public schemes were proposed to acquire funds needed for housing projects. Some of the proposals were: government allocations directly controlled by Congress, a direct tax on Jockey Club members, or loans for low-income government employees underwritten by the Central Bank. It was finally decided that 75% of the Jockey Club’s profits from Thursday horse races were to be donated to a general housing construction fund. Money began to flow in, but how should the government use it?
Microbarrio San Vicente de Paul, 1912 • Nueva Pompeya Cachí & Traful
Social assistance in Argentina was not limited to private donations like that of Azucena Butteler. One important group did as much as all other organizations combined —the Catholic church. Under the guidance of the Unión Popular Católica Argentina, nationwide fundraising drives gave Catholic organizations lots of cash to assist the poor. The government highly valued their contribution, mainly administered by women’s groups.Read More »housing for the masses: microbarrio san vicente de paul, 1912
One of the things that has always impressed me about Argentina is their commitment to social welfare. Before the onslaught of comments to the contrary, hear me out. Without question, you can find lots of examples of the oligarchy looking out for itself, plenty of internal conflicts that jeopardized social welfare, & certainly a lot of work left to be done at present. But the average citizen’s standard of living has been a big concern during 20th-century Argentine history.