The San Telmo Market, located at 455 Carlos Calvo Street (and Bolívar), is a traditional market that stands the test of time and has become one of the historical places in the city of Buenos Aires. It is located in what was the first neighborhood of the city, San Telmo. The story goes that back in 1870, when the yellow fever epidemic occurred, the wealthy families who lived in the area moved to the north of the city, leaving their large houses empty. A few years later, those mansions were transformed into tenements that housed the numerous immigrant families who came to the country, mostly from Europe and Asia. Therefore, the new San Telmo Market, founded in 1897, helped provide food to the large immigration that settled in the neighborhood. And it replaced the market that previously took place in the current Plaza Dorrego.
In 2000, the Market was declared a National Historical Monument by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires.
Although it still preserves some old shops selling vegetables and meats that supply the residents of the neighborhood, in recent years and until today it has been transformed into a tourist center where antique shops, souvenir shops, greengrocers and two butcher shops, with innovative gastronomic establishments.
And after the devaluation of 2001 there was a great explosion of tourists coming to the city. And the new “hostels” and boutique hotels were filled with foreigners looking for traces of the old city in San Telmo. This revaluation of historical heritage had its impacts on the real estate market and many residents and businesses found themselves approached by a new San Telmo for tourism that clearly aimed at an expanded audience.
From there there was a new revaluation of the Market that caused the traditional vegetable and butcher stalls to begin to coexist with new gastronomic establishments. This produced a coexistence between the classic merchants and the new ones, and between the traditional neighbors and consumers of the old Market and the new clients, many of them tourists, attracted by the history of the place and by the new and varied gastronomic proposals.
Thus, around the “Coffee Town” gazebo, which dominates the center of the market, it is interspersed with the traditional butcher shops, greengrocers and fishmongers, with the sourdough baguettes from “Merci”, the Vietnamese dishes from “Saigon”, the Swiss street cuisine of “Je Suis Raclette” and the Spanish tortillas of “De Lucía”. In addition to the locros, tripe, lentil stews and empanadas from “El hornero”, the cold cuts, cheeses and spices from “Verde Oliva”, and the artisanal pastries from “Chantal”, among many other proposals.
This coexistence caused the San Telmo Market to begin to emerge as a new gastronomic hub, where those who bring their raw materials – meat, vegetables, seeds, drinks, etc. – coexist with those who offer a table to enjoy breakfast, a lunch, a snack or a dinner, or simply a beer, or a coffee on the go. With a varied proposal that covers various culinary geographies.
At the same time, there are also stores selling antiques, old records, old toys and crafts that dominate the side corridors.
The San Telmo Market brings together the history transmitted by its space and its people, combined with the innovation of new gastronomic proposals. Without a doubt, characteristics that attract you to visit it and enjoy it.
The San Telmo Market building was designed by the Italian architect engineer Juan Antonio Buschiazzo for the entrepreneur, also Italian, Antonio Devoto. Buschiazzo was the second architect to obtain his degree in Buenos Aires, he had arrived from Italy at the age of four and during the mayorship of Torcuato de Alvear he served as director of Public Works of the City. He designed banks, hospitals, residences and government buildings, and was also one of the main people responsible for the Avenida de Mayo project.
The central body of the San Telmo Market, with an entrance on the corner of Bolívar and Carlos Calvo streets, dates back to 1897. And in 1930 two arms were added with exits on Defensa and Unidos streets.
The façade is Italianate in style, with semicircular arches and Tuscan order that house establishments with direct private access from the sidewalk, which are mostly bars. The building retains its original internal structure, made up of metal beams, arches and columns with metal and glass roofs, and in the center stands a large dome.
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