Buenos Aires' neighborhoods offer an impressive sampling of the city's heritage and utopian ambitions. A French neoclassical building on Avenida Independencia in Buenos Aires. (Julia Kumari Drapkin/GlobalPost)
A French neoclassical building on Avenida Independencia in Buenos Aires. (Julia Kumari Drapkin/GlobalPost)BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Wander the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and it's hard not to wonder about the mix of architecture. The house next door, the corner pizza parlor, even parking garages have features that tickle the curiosity.
Most are artifacts of the city's building boom from 1880 through the 1920s, when Buenos Aires was one of the world's richest, fastest growing cities. The capital was a blank canvas and its architects wanted to create their dream city at the beginning of a brand new century.
The resulting architectural styles reflect the utopian ambitions of the designers as well as their immigrant heritage. At the height of the great European migration to Argentina in 1914, 30 percent of the population was foreign born. Neighborhood architects built in their own styles flavored by their home country or that of their patron.
Take a tour of Buenos Aires with architecture detective Alejandro Machado, who rigorously documents the architectural heritage of edifices across the city.
A guide to Buenos Aires architecture
It's not hard to be an architecture detective in Buenos Aires. Just pick a street and take a walk. While some neighborhoods are known for certain styles, most offer an impressive sampling of the city's architectural heritage.
The overall style of a neighborhood building can tell you a lot about when it was built and the people who built it. Three styles dominate the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires: neoclassical, art nouveau and art deco.