City of Buenos Aires: they denounce the government for abandonment and possible demolition of an architectural heritage

The neighbors of the City of Buenos Aires expressed their concern over the serious deterioration of a historic mansion in the Villa Devoto district, dating from the beginning of the 20th century. The place considered Architectural Heritage of great importance, it has been abandoned since 2008, since a real estate company bought the property and never again took care of its maintenance. Given this and the lack of political intervention on the issue, denounce to the government of the City (GCBA) by abandonment and possible demolition.

Lost Buenos Aires, a user-run Twitter account responsible for recording historic places in the city, posted a thread detailing the story and its current status. “A real estate company bought it in 2008 and they have since abandoned it, possibly deteriorate and the GCBA authorizes its demolition, he explained, despite the fact that since that same year the property has been cataloged at the level of structural protection by the legislature of Buenos Aires.

However, despite the fact that the inhabitants demanded that it be declared at the level of public utility in 2009 and 2011, the Finance Commission rejected the request. “The house belonged to his descendants until late 2007 when they sold it to a well-known local estate agent in the hope that they could maintain it better than they did. …,” he noted.

Marta Liotto, a resident of the neighborhood and president of the College of Auctioneers of Buenos Aires, pointed out that “the house cannot be demolished because it has historical protection, but if the roofs fall because of the pressure of the water, then this protection is lost. This is why we want the expropriation to be approved as soon as possible because the property is in very poor condition. The deterioration is evident: the entrance gates displaying the initial letters FB present signs of rust; the glass of the door is broken; the walls and ceilings inside, on the verge of collapsing; the carpentry, marble and granite of the original coatings have been lost and the stained glass windows seem incomplete.

The most recent bill was presented in August 2020, with the number 1961/2020, to make it a museum and cultural center. However, the project has yet to be discussed in the Legislative Assembly, which is why residents of Villa Devoto have warned that the government expects it to deteriorate further to make way for demolition.

The mansion not only has significant historical, but also cultural value. “Until 2007, various series and films were filmed at the Beiró house, such as Locas de Amor, Mujeres Asesinas and Epitafios”, explains Buenos Aires Perdida. Not only were the exteriors of the venue used, but shots were also taken inside the venue. Julieta Díaz and Alfredo Casero, for example, played there.

Possible intentions behind the deterioration

It is no coincidence that the neighbors denounce the government of Horace Rodriguez Larreta. For several years, residents of different neighborhoods and elected officials have been photographing private mansions fragmented to be demolished, for the construction of buildings, car parks, among other spaces. In September 2021, progress was made with the demolition of the historic building on the corner of Avenida Olazábal and Vidal, in the Belgrano district, to begin construction of a tower. It was a site built at the beginning of the 20th century by the famous Italian architect Alfredo Olivari, who records dozens of works in CABA as his authorship.

“Enough demolishing”, a group of people fighting for the maintenance of the historic center of the city, presented a report with the faculty of architecture of the UBA. The document indicates that there are 141,000 lots in CABA protected by Law 3056, which establishes that the CAAP must analyze buildings prior to 1941 and select, according to the criteria established by the Urban Code, those that will be kept as heritage and those that can be demolished.

Given this scenario, they clarified that according to regulatory guidelines, of the 141,000 lots, only 8,195 properties have been registered that need to be protected. That is to say only 13%. “It is for this reason that we are still seeing the slow but sure loss of hundreds of heritage buildings,” they said. The Beiró house dates from 1910, so it must be included for its protection.

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