Caseros Avenue is one of the most important arteries in the south of the city of Buenos Aires. It marks the border between two neighborhoods: a sidewalk, whose parallel is Brazil, belongs to San Telmo; In the other, whose parallel is Finochietto (former Patagones), Barracas begins.
In its long history, before becoming this important road, it was the scene of events that marked the history of our country. From the clashes between the native peoples and the Spanish in the first founding of Buenos Aires in 1536, to the fights that occurred during the English invasions in 1806 and 1807.
At the beginning of the 19th century it was known as “Zanjón de las quintas” due to the presence of elegant weekend houses of the wealthy classes, which were located, at that time, in an extensive wooded landscape.
On August 25, 1857, by municipal ordinance it was given its current name in allusion to the battle of Caseros, which occurred in 1852. In this battle the “Big Army”, made up of the empire of Brazil and Uruguay (at that time La Banda Oriental), together with Buenos Aires exiles who were staying there, Entre Ríos and Corrientes, fought under the orders of Justo José de Urquiza to defeat the governor of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas.
In the middle of the 19th century, the most significant changes would occur in the vicinity of this road that would end up shaping the horizon that reaches today: hospitals, slaughterhouses, salting plants, grocery stores, corrals, factories and railway depots were installed, gradually modifying their country landscape.
In addition, it was the setting for the novel “Amalia” by José Mármol, also giving rise to another landscape that Esteban Echeverría portrays in his story “El Matadero”.
When the aristocratic villas and their inhabitants moved away from there towards other areas, the subdivision of buildings and their parks began to take place, giving rise to facades and urban settings whose inhabitants began to be mainly immigrants.
Currently, Caseros Avenue has a particular attraction in which you can see an architecture that mixes with unique charm various styles of European origin, added to its lime trees, palm trees and leafy parks.
It is precisely on Defensa Street where the Avenue begins, starting from Lezama Park where the National Historical Museum is located, which was the former farm of Gregorio Lezama around the year 1850, and which is the limit of the San Telmo and Barracas neighborhoods. . Its direction runs from east to west.
The mark given to it by the immigration current that brought its aesthetic influences and construction techniques can still be perceived today, giving it a characteristic landscape. Some of its buildings became icons, such as the construction of the sidewalk on the Barracas shore, built by the architect Christian Schindler who, in turn, was the author of many works on Avenida de Mayo, in 1912. That symmetry It is a characteristic hallmark of this Buenos Aires area: 120 meters of façade, from Defensa to Bolívar and, in the two corners, a higher floor with a dome. The owner of those lots, Alberto Anchorena, ordered it to be built to house the English directors of the Southern Railways. That is why it was called the “quinta de los Inglés” or “conventillo de los Inglés”.
This first section of the Avenue of just over 500 meters, between Defensa and Bernardo de Yrigoyen, is characterized by preserving some aristocratic residences from the beginning of the 20th century that remain standing. In those times the area was still preferred by the upper class, and there are testimonies of both imposing mansions and luxury apartment buildings, which later became devalued in many cases. However, for some years now a project has been started by both real estate interests and the City Government to enhance the value of the place, recovering several buildings and constructing a small boulevard with classic style streetlights, which was inaugurated in March 2007.
A few blocks later it crosses under the Pte. Amancio Alcorta Avenue opens. There is the British Hospital, at the intersection with Perdriel Street.
When you cross Avenida Entre Ríos you enter the Parque Patricios neighborhood and begin a stretch adorned by a dense grove of trees. There are the Udaondo Hospital, the Ameghino Park and behind it the Muñiz Hospital and the old building that was the Caseros Prison.
At the intersection with Jujuy Avenue is the Caseros Station of Line H of the Buenos Aires Subway. There is the Chapel of Our Lady of Luján and her school, and further on the House of Tomás Espora (today the Tomás Espora Naval Museum) and the Sanctuary Church of San Antonio de Padua (at the intersection with Lavardén Street). This sector is particularly commercial, since Caseros Avenue is the main artery of the neighborhood.
The intersection with La Rioja Street is considered the commercial nerve center of Parque Patricios. There is the Plazoleta Corrales Viejos with the monument to Monteagudo, and the Parque de los Patricios begins. In front of it stands the Valentín Alsina Collective House, which was the first social housing building built by the National Commission for Cheap Houses, in 1919.
References and Photographs:
At number 3159 Avenida Caseros, with a wide front facing the avenue, and in the block of houses that also delimit the streets General Urquiza, Rondeau and 24 deNovember, the Club Atlético Huracán has its headquarters.
The park ends at Avenida Almafuerte and from there the building and commercial density of Avenida Caseros begins to progressively decrease, which acts as a boundary between the neighborhoods of Nueva Pompeya and Boedo.
After crossing Sáenz and Boedo avenues, Caseros has wider sidewalks and younger trees, and low single-family houses predominate. At the intersection with Alagón Street is the Ateneo 26 de Julio, of the Unión Cívica Radical.
Caseros Avenue ends at La Plata Avenue, continuing with the name Cobo Avenue to the west and the Parque Chacabuco neighborhood.
The magic of this area has always had a special attraction for personalities linked to art and culture such as Cecilio Madanes, Josefina Robirosa, Roberto Aizemberg, Alejandro Puente, Pérez Celis, among others, who surrendered to the charms of the place and have chosen it to work or as permanent residence. The writer Alina Diaconú made an observation that marks the place: «It is very strange, all foreigners find different similarities to it. Some say it is like Paris, others like Madrid, Germany or Prague.”
Returning to the boulevard area, more precisely between Defensa and Bolívar, in recent times a culinary oasis has developed. In just one hundred meters, several establishments give life to one of the most Parisian blocks in the City.
Almost on the corner, reaching Bolívar, half hidden behind an immaculate white facade, is “El + acá Club Cultural”. An elegant building from 1929, which required four years of restoration, to currently show off with a very bright restaurant. In addition, the center has an art gallery, a bookstore, and multipurpose rooms where yoga classes, literary workshops, among other cultural activities are held. For sunny days, the patio, located at the back of the premises, has tables and plants that promise a calm atmosphere and “an outside” without annoying urban noises.
On the corner of Av. Caseros and Bolívar is “La Popular de San Telmo”, this is a restaurant with a Palermo vibe. The room is decorated with old siphons and pennants, in a pleasant atmosphere with homemade dishes. At the door, a blackboard invites you to try the nineteen styles of potato omelette they offer, among which those with prawns, blood sausage and deer stand out.
But if we talk about the initial ones, it was “Caseros” who was the first to plant a flag in the area. The living room is very bright thanks to huge windows that allow you to see the little white tables on the street from inside. The cuisine is Buenos Aires, or “with different immigrant roots.” Whistle blows of Italian, Spanish and Buenos Aires mix. The atmosphere is very calm, with soft music that dissipates with the high ceilings.
As in every gastronomic circuit, there is also a brewery. On Tap Craft Beer is presented with its offer of 20 taps of craft beer, 100% national, including those from Patagonia. The food is designed based on the pairing with beer: homemade burgers prepared with different cuts of meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes, rustic potatoes, chicken wings, among others.
Close by is the only ice cream parlor on the block: “El Fundador”. This company, established in 1914, offers artisanal frozen creams and desserts. The board shows at least sixty flavors, among which some exotic ones stand out.
There is also the “Hierbabuena” restaurant, a space with rustic tables on the sidewalk, and a room decorated as an old still life. The menu is vegan, suitable for celiacs. Although they have a minimal proposal that includes chicken and salmon, the heart of the place is green. The vast majority of products are made with organic merchandise. On the other side is the market, a charming store that offers a variety of pastries, dried Italian pasta, breads, spices, imported oils and many more delicacies.
There is also the “Club Social De Luxe” to delight the neighborhood with American-French cuisine. Very elaborate dishes, adapted to the Argentine palate. The interior of the room has dressed tables and the huge bar shows an old display case that houses hundreds of bottles.
And in this varied block, a good pizzeria could not be missing either. “The pizza” offers naturally fermented gourmet products, made with organic flour blends. The room is spacious, with boxes and tables both inside and on the sidewalk as well.
Crossing the boulevard, full of glamorous “foxtail” plants, is “Naples”. The interior of the room, about fifty meters long, smells of fresh pasta and freshly kneaded bread. During the mornings the bread is kneaded in full view of the customers and at night it is the turn of the pasta and pizzas. Each of these three specialties has its bar. Some time ago, the place was an antique shop, so the setting is worth seeing: old libraries, a wooden horse, foosballs and bicycles intermingle on the illuminated tables, even in broad daylight, with candles and candelabras. The gastronomic offer is very “tan”: burrata and hors d'oeuvres accompany the pastas and the crispy pizzas. They also offer meat and fish products. The walk through the area is not only gastronomic: after enjoying a good meal you can buy everything you see in the antique shop. From a minimal decoration to a car, through new and used clothing from top brands.
Without a doubt, Avenida Caseros has many historical and culinary attractions that invite you to visit it.