Buenos Aires – La Plata
Buenos Aires – La Plata: Two capitals of the Culture of Modernity, Eclecticism and Immigration is part of the Tentative list of Argentina in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Buenos Aires and La Plata represent the architecture and urban planning of capital cities from the late 19th, early 20th century. La Plata as a regional capital was built ex novo, where nearby Buenos Aires as the national capital existed already since the 16th century. Both are multicultural cities built in an eclectic way with the knowledge of immigrants.
Map of Buenos Aires – La PlataLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
The city of BA is a very pleasant and bustling city with much Neoclassical Eurpean style architecture. I do not know what reasons exactly might justify its inscription though. I would like to point out the Hispano-American Museum which exhibits colonial art in a beautiful colonial mansion as a worthwhile visit. La Boca, on the other hand, became so heavily commercialized it is almost unworthy of a visit.
The City of La Plata was designed as a new city in 1882, to serve as the capital of Buenos Aires Province after Buenos Aires itself had become the national capital. So it's a city that was designed at a drawing board according to a rigorous plan. I visited it on a day trip from Buenos Aires. It's a ride of about one hour, and buses leave every 5 or 10 minutes. My planning wasn't too great, as it turned out to be Columbus Day (a national holiday). When I walked from the bus station to the central area, the only creatures I came across were dogs and the city's lowlife.
Finding your way is easy in this planned city: the streets have no names, only numbers. There's a large city map at the bus station, where you can see that the city is a perfect square with 40 horizontal and vertical blocks. They are crossed by some diagonals, for the creative touch. The planners were environmentally conscious avant-la-lettre and had envisaged 'urban forestry', parks and gardens. I visited one of those, the Paseo del Bosque. There's a zoo and the large Natural History Museum where I met my Glyptodon friends again (see Colonia de Sacramento review).
With the city's Casa Curutchet, one of Le Corbusier's buildings, right on track to become a WHS in 2009, the remaining chances for the city as a whole are slim. Also, I don't think any (relatively) modern planned city can surpass the extremities of Brasilia. So, if you're in Buenos Aires and got half a day to spare, do visit La Plata but don't expect to be blown away by it.
Successor to former TWHS City of La Plata, Foundational Urban Area (1998-2012) and Ville de Buenos Aires: Paysage Culturel (2005-2012)
2018 Added to Tentative List
2008 Not discussed
As Buenos Aires: At first not on agenda because of too many nominations, and after that was resolved because of withdrawals, Argentina decided to postpone to 2009. ICOMOS in its 2008 evaluation deemed it not unique enough.
2007 Requested by State Party to not be examined
As La Plata: Withdrawn at request of Argentina
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