Avenida 9 de Julio is an icon of the city of Buenos Aires. Next to the Obelisk, which is located at the midpoint of the artery, at the intersection with Corrientes Avenue, it has become a must-see photograph for anyone who wants to take a typical Buenos Aires image.
It is the main artery and the most neuralgic because, in its 3 km length, it connects the south with the north of the city: from Constitución to Retiro. Furthermore, it seems that everything happens there: from major artistic, sporting, political, cultural events and even social demonstrations.
It is considered by many to be “the widest avenue in the world” due to its extensive length. To the east of the avenue runs Carlos Pellegrini Street (Bernardo de Irigoyen south of Rivadavia) and to the west does Cerrito (Lima south of Rivadavia); These two streets function in practice as extra lanes or collectors, and are counted as part of the Avenue to reach a total of 140 meters wide.
One of the distinctive features of the "9 de Julio" is that it maintains the same name throughout its entire route and does not have a numbering system, since there is only one building that has access through one of its paths, the Ministry of Health and Social development. Likewise, there are no buildings on the perpendicular streets.
Visiting it entirely on foot requires time and desire to enjoy its small squares with a variety of trees, among which the tall Tipas, the Palo Borro and the Jacarandá stand out, as well as ceibos and cherry trees, many of them donated by Japan. Species that were originally introduced to the Avenue due to the characteristic landscape design of Carlos Thays.
But perhaps not many know its story. The 9 de Julio Avenue project began in 1827 with the presidency of Bernardino Rivadavia, who proposed it as a way to integrate the north with the south of that incipient village. Already in those years, expansions and avenues were proposed that would demolish the colonial checkerboard due to the growing commercial activity, long before the waves of immigration. In 1861, Mayor Seeber (1889-1890) revived the project and, three decades later, Congress approved the works. In 1894, the Buenos Aires Deliberative Council revalidated it, the plans were accepted in 1907 with the “Bouvard” project, and Law 8855 of 1912 approved it for its completion. That first step aspired to expropriate 33 blocks from Paseo de Julio to Brasil Avenue on the north-south axis from Rivadavia Street, and build a 33-meter-wide avenue, with two side streets and “public and private” buildings. characterized style and special architecture.”
Mayor Anchorena (1910-1914) tries to have it inaugurated for the Centennial of Independence, but the project fails. Another three decades would pass for the mayor Mariano Vedia y Miter (1932-1938), under the presidency of Agustín P. Justo, to return to the idea with aspects of landscaping, and the Creole modernity of the followers of the International Congresses of Modern Architecture: “Sun, space, trees, cement and steel”, and the projects of the socialist C. M. della Paolera. Despite the financial restrictions of the 1930s, due to the great global economic crisis, added to the opposition of the socialist and radical parties (banned after the military coup against Hipólito Yrigoyen), Vedia y Miter carried out an ambitious reform plan, which included a marathon of public works, such as the widening of Corrientes and Belgrano or Avenida Juan B. Justo, and which converged with the inauguration of the Obelisk in 1936. This emblematic icon of Buenos Aires, built in the Plaza de la República, It is a historical monument that remembers the place where the national flag was raised for the first time in Buenos Aires in 1812. At that point the church of San Nicolás de Bari was then located. The Obelisk was the work of architect Alberto Prebisch, it is 67 and a half meters high, and weighs 1,800 tons. He became a privileged witness who saw the historic Avenue grow.
From its height you can see the most beautiful images of the city. Its inauguration was the starting point for the projection of Avenida 9 de Julio. Well, after only seven months, a record construction of the artery occurred, where entire blocks were demolished with rapid forced expropriation trials.
The opening of Avenida 9 de Julio occurred on October 12, 1937, with a five-block layout, from Bartolomé Miter to Tucumán. Furthermore, its creation anticipated the growth of the district and was aligned with the expansion of other arteries such as Corrientes Avenue, which had already widened its first blocks by its inauguration.
During the Perón government, progress was made towards Belgrano Avenue (1948-1949). And only in the first half of the seventies did it extend to Caseros to the south, and Santa Fe to the north. The work would increase during the military dictatorship, with the highway plan in Constitución and Retiro, completed by the last mayor elected by the National Executive, Jorge Domínguez (1994-1996).
Walking along this historic avenue is also walking next to historic buildings such as the Teatro Colón, reopened in 2010 after its restoration; the Edificio del Plata, where the old Mercado del Plata operated; and today it is the headquarters of the City Government; or that of the old Ministry of Public Works, located along the route, which housed the antenna for the country's first television broadcast, in 1951.
Since 2013, Avenida 9 de Julio in its central section has been traveled by the Metrobus 9 de Julio, which allowed urban transportation to be organized in the area. In addition, there are subway line C (which had already connected part of its route since 1934; line D that appears with its 9 de Julio station, a few meters from the Obelisk, and that allows combinations with the Carlos Pellegrini stations on the line B and North Diagonal of line C.
Without a doubt, this emblematic Avenue brings together the most neuralgic traffic in the city, with the beauty of its buildings and its groves, and the iconic images of Buenos Aires.