On Down Lavalle…

2012.Nov.26 Monday · 1 comment

in Life

Continuing our little walk from where we left off in Plaza Lavalle, where no doubt you’ve had enough statuary to last you for weeks, let’s look at the next ten blocks or so. First off, one of the things that’s noticeable is that there’s a lot of very similar looking, block-y white-grey buildings in what’s generally called the Academic style here. They each have their own touches that make them a little different, but on the whole, this is a stretch where there’s a lot of uniformity in the buildings. I’ve tried to pick out some interesting features, or buildings with interesting tenants, or the few buildings that are different. I’m sure there’s a good amount of history behind some of these, but I didn’t find much on the web.

Lavalle walk

At 1280, a building that looks like it ought to have a lot of history going on, the best I could find out is that the majority of the building is taken up by the Argentine branch of Lexis/Nexis and the legal books publisher Abeledo-Perrot. But it’s a good start for the style of building I was talking about above – virtually every corner has a couple like this for the next 8-10 blocks.

Lavalle walk

While #1334 is currently the home of the Magistrates’ association for the court system, as well as the offices for the association of forensic doctors, it was at one time, from 1884 until 1891, the temporary home of the Santa Lucia public ophthalmology hospital.

Lavalle walk

Of particular note, feature-wise, are the carvings of what I take to be Minerva and Mercury (or perhaps Athena and Hermes, depending on whether we’re going Roman or Greek) on either side of the entrance. The caduceus, presumably, is a remnant of the time when this was a hospital.

Lavalle walk

At 1402, the massive Banco de la Nación building is topped by a torch-bearing statue. Other than that, there’s not much to see here….

Lavalle walk

At first glance I thought it was rather intriguing to see these helmeted divers mounted on the outside of the building at 1500, however, more than a glance and I realized that these are more modern mountings that have taken the place of something that was there before. The billed IAAS is the Argentine divers’ association, a fairly recent entrant into the building. But, props to them for giving a go at maintaining the facade to some extent.

Lavalle walk

One building that has always caught my eye is the technical school at #1681, named after Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the battery.

Lavalle walk

Here at #1730 is the Sanatorio Ateneo, about the only thing noteworthy about which that I can find is that the place has a history of speculation and complaints about the care the patients receive that include things like unlicensed nursing staff, unlicensed doctors, patients who die and simply disappear. Much of it sounds like conspiracy theory, but who knows? Given the length of time the place has been around, I somehow doubt people would still check into it if there was much to it all.

Lavalle walk

At the corner of Av. Callao is the Colegio del Salvador, a Jesuit prep school. Of note, on the link, check out the history section for an interesting video on the history of the Jesuits here in Argentina and the college itself (in Spanish).

Lavalle walk

The shape of this building always vaguely reminds me of the Flatiron building in NYC. It’s actually located on the pedestrian passageway, at Enrique Santos Discepolo 500, even if the entrance seems to face onto Lavalle. Researching that turned up the fact that the city has 577 pedestrian passageways in various spots throughout the city! Who knew? Nothing of note about the building itself beyond the form. Discepolo was a famous tango musician and composer, best known for his work Cambalache.

Lavalle walk

Just down the street at 1838 is a branch of Universitas, a relatively prestigious private university that seems to focus on administration, tourism and related industries, and radiology and surgical instrumentation. A neat mix I suppose – something for everyone, more or less.

Lavalle walk

The 5th comiseria, or precinct, is located at 1958 and covers the Once neighborhood.

Lavalle walk

Noted, a plaque in front that is a thank you from the local Jewish community for the precinct’s rapid response and effectiveness in dealing with the aftermath of the AMIA bombing in 1994. Also considered, that while they may have handled the crisis in the moment admirably, they’ve been castigated for years since for cover-ups and incompetence in the follow-up investigation.

Lavalle walk

And, we’ll end this stretch at the corner of Junín and the Universidad CAECE, the “exact sciences” university, which led me to expect when looking at their website that I’d find them dedicated to the hard sciences, which would make sense given their proximity to the UBA medical, dental and public health schools. But, strangely, their focus seems to be on human resources, tourism, social sciences, journalism, etc. Whatever….

Next time we’ll pick up from here to the end of the street in Villa Crespo, I think one more post should cover it all.

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