The End of Lavalle

2013.Oct.09 Wednesday · 0 comments

in Life

Not as ominous as it sounds, despite the ending that befell Juan Lavalle, but, finally getting around to finishing off my trek down his eponymous street. In fact, it’s been so long, almost a year, that I should probably mention for newer readers what this is all about. A long while back I decided that an interesting way to see the city of Buenos Aires was to pick a particular topic, and just wander inspired by it – and what I did was picked the historical leaders of the country, and started off moseying along the streets named after them. It’s taken me throughout neighborhoods I might otherwise not have seen, and I’ve uncovered some interesting buildings and monuments that, too, I probably never would have encountered otherwise. You can find the index to the walks here, along with some others.

So last November I left off along calle Lavalle at the corner of Uriburu (whom we’ll get to one day), and, here’s picking up where we left off – it’s actually a pretty short trek from that point until the end.

Lavalle walk

At the next corner, Azcuénaga, is the Centro del Once, which looks like it ought to be something medical or seriously important, but is actually just a furniture re-upholsterer. It also, more or less, signals the entrance to what one might call the garment district, or textile district, and, as well, the orthodox Jewish community area.

Lavalle walk

At #2449 is a large synagogue, belonging to Congretation Sefardi Yesod Hadath (my Hebrew is really rusty, but I think that Yesod is “foundation” and Hadath is “religion”), obviously from the name a Sephardic congregation, which are, if not the majority here in Buenos Aires, certainly the more visible. The building was designed by Jacobo Sirlin and was dedicated in April of 1920.

Lavalle walk
Lavalle walk
Lavalle walk
Lavalle walk

I don’t know that you need a ton of photos of the garment district, it’s a busy place with stores where you can buy fabric or clothing, and that’s pretty much it. I do like that the police department clearly acknowledges the local community – both the Jewish and Chinese.

Lavalle walk

Within a few blocks we reach the end of the district and come upon the back side of the Abasto. Built in the late 1800s as one of the city’s primary fruit and vegetable markets, it operated until 1984, when it was closed down until 1998 when it was reopened as a shopping mall. There was a plan to tear it down to make room for a highway (since there’s no nearby highway, I assume the plans for the entire thing were scrapped), but that was blocked by a historical preservation group. In the interim, in 1987 works started to convert it to a mall, but due to financial difficulties that work stopped in 1989; in 1993 the hulking building was auctioned off, and in 1995 the group that had bought it demolished most of the original building, leaving only the historical facade, behind which they built the shopping mall.

Lavalle walk

The next few blocks are primarily residential, with a large Coto grocery store, lots of houses, a couple of apartment towers, and not much of architectural or cultural interest. This building at #3683 houses (or housed, their website seems to be gone now) the Club de Amigos de la Vaca Profana (roughly, the Friends of the Unholy Cow Club), which is an alternative theater space.

Lavalle walk

The Instituto William Morris at 3761 is a primary and secondary school that was founded in 1926 as a school for girls, though not in this location, a building it took over in 1963. It became co-ed in 1970.

Lavalle walk
Lavalle walk

The original Escuela Técnica Nº 30 Norberto Piñero was founded in August 1900 in another location, and under the simple name of Sociedad de Educación Industrial. It opened with 72 students. At the same time, construction on this building at the corner of Lavalle and Jeronimo Salguero was started, and the school moved into these much larger quarters in 1907. These days, the technical school, which specializes in Civil, Electromechanical, and Chemical Engineering, has somewhere around 3500 high school level students.

Lavalle walk

At the corner of Medrano is the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, which is in a way, I suppose, the continuation of the technical school for those who want to continue on to university level degrees in pretty much the same subjects, though adding in some other disciplines, like Naval Engineering, Electronics, Information Systems, and Textiles, at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Lavalle walk

Not totally having left the Jewish community behind, the synagogue of the Iarjo Jabad hasidic congregation is at #3934.

Lavalle walk

And, finally, the street ends at the corner of Gascón, at a small plaza, where, just a few steps away, you could join up with my 92 bus pizza trek!

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