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uenos Aires City, founded twice by the Río de la Plata (Silver River), grew up turning its back to the river and suffered the same swings and changes as its politics. Some buildings were pulled down and rebuilt at least three times. Such is the case of the Colon Opera House and the House of Government. Each time, buildings were submitted to different construction canons, first colonial, then Italian and finally French. French architecture was dominant at the turn of the 20th century and French school architects --keen on the Ecole de Beaux Arts de París guidelines--, built the city big boulevards and buildings in that style.

Rivadavia Avenue was a carriage road and joined Plaza de Mayo with the city Far West towards Flores. In 1870, the yellow fever epidemic spreaded and the wealthy families in Buenos Aires looked for shelter in the city highlands and moved to Flores, a summer country house neighborhood, and other areas. The Western railways joined Flores with the city center. In 1876, the Compañía Anglo Argentina (Anglo Argentine Corporation) built one of the first streetcars pulled by horses to be seen on Rivadavia Avenue.

The 1880 economic prosperity boosted a big expansion of the city and its suburbs. New buildings and shops bloomed. The "big village" was growing into a city.

Although the Medrano and Rivadavia Avenue intersection is only 4 Km (2.5 miles) far from Plaza de Mayo, it was considered to be "at the back of the beyond."

Right on the corner of those streets, a coffee house with golden chandelliers and Italian marble was built. Its inaguration date was September 21st 1884 and even secretary Carlos Pellegrini, future Argentine President at the time, was present, arriving in a special streetcar and accompanied by many of his distinguished friends. Politicians, artists and writers of those times, like Roberto Arlt, would take it as their meeting point, they would seat round the tables of this coffee house.

But it was not until the 1920's that the current building --with its windows, its curved glass doors, its French stained-glass windows, and its Italian marble floors-- was made. The restored stained-glass windows were created to decorate and brighten the pleasant coffeehouse environment in those times, where people would spend their leisure time in a very select environment.

In 1998, the building was declared "Buenos Aires City's Heritage Site" by the Buenos Aires Legislative Body. For several years, before the last restauration, the building was shut and almost abandoned. The restauration of the building, its components and the stained-glass windows was started in January 2001 and was finished in June.


Av. Rivadavia 3899 (Esquina Medrano) | Capital Federal Buenos Aires Argentina |TEL. (0054-11) 4958-7387 / 4958-7388 / 4958-7389