1. Headquarters of Buenos Aires City Government.
Avenida de Mayo 525
Built between 1891 and 1902, a work directed by the Italian architect Giovanni Cagnoni. It is of French Academicism style, with Italian-like elements. Two great oil paintings are exhibited in the interior of the building: “Preparativos de Salida” by B. Quinquela Martin and “La Fundación de Buenos Aires” by J. Moreno Cabral.
2. House of Culture. Former venue of “La Prensa” Newspaper
Avenida de Mayo 575
This construction, of French Academicist-styled, was inaugurated in 1896. It was designed by engineers Gainza and Agote. On the first floor, the Golden Room exactly replicates a Versailles Palace room. It was the venue of La Prensa newspaper and was provided with transmitters and receivers of news cables and telephones. The upper part of the building finishes off in a bronze-made statue 55 meters high that holds a torch and a written page, as symbols of the press freedom. The beacon was useful to spread the most important news at that moment, by means of different-colour lights.
Today, the building is part of the Secretary of Culture of Buenos Aires Government where many free cultural activities take place.
3. El Cabildo
Intersection of Bolívar street and Avenida de Mayo
The Cabildo was Buenos Aires government seat in colonial times. Members of the Cabildo –elected by popular votes- used to weekly meet here.
The original work was directed by the architect Giovanni Andrea Bianchi and inaugurated in 1740. Then, several changes were made to the premises in the course of the centuries; among which we can mention the six of the twelve arches which were taken out. May Revolution took place in these premises. That was the first expression of independence from Spain. The First Governing Body was appointed in 1810.
Today, you can visit here: the Cabildo and the Revolución de Mayo Museums; the National Commission of Monuments, Sightseeing Areas and Historical Museums; and a handicraft fair.
4. Roverano Alley
Avenida de Mayo 506
This alley which was called after its owner, was built in 1878 but it had to be remodelled when Avenida de Mayo opened up. It was built with imported materials and excellent craftsmanship which you can still observe in its stained glasses, its curved shop-windows and the original bronze carpentries in the different shops it holds. This alley joins Avenidad de Mayo to Hipólito Irigoyen street and it is the only house with private entrance to subway line A, Peru station.
5. Perú Subway Station
Avenida de Mayo 500
Line A –inaugurated in 1913– was the first subway line in Buenos Aires and South America. Perú station still keeps the original architecture and antique advertising posters.
6. London City Patisserie
Avenida de Mayo 599
“El London” was inaugurated in 1954. From then on, politicians, artists and downtown clerks meet there. At their tables, the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar wrote his novel Los premios; on the first page it says “It was at ‘the London’ located at the intersection of Perú and Avenida”…
7. Urquiza Anchorena Palace
Avenida de Mayo 747
An alley located within these premises joins Avenida de Mayo to Rivadavia street. It was built by engineer Sanguinetti in 192l. The dome of this building is one of the 24 of the avenue which will be illuminated by ordered of Buenos Aires government.
8. Vera Palace
Avenida de Mayo 767 - 777
This neatly art noveau palace, with curved lines and bevelled glasses, was built in 1910 by architects Prins and Ranzenhofler, for Díaz Vélez family to live in. Currently, two bookshops are placed there where you can find first editions and unusual copies.
9. Tortoni Cafe
Avenida de Mayo 825
Founded in 1858, it is the oldest coffee-shop in Buenos Aires. In 1880, it was moved to its current property –at the beginning, it was placed at the corner. Finally, in 1898, the magnificent door opened up onto Avenida de Mayo. The facade was developed by architect Christophersen.
Two decades later, the Tortoni was already become the center of meetings for Buenos Aires intellectuals and hosted many of the illustrious characters coming either from Buenos Aires or abroad. Inside the cafe, pictures, poems and busts tell steps of its history.
Its basements are today havens for jazz and tango fans, and the wine cellar is the place where presentations of books and poetry encounters are carried out. Towards its back side, there are rooms for dominoes, dice and billiards. The Tortoni still offers its customers some endangered drinks like leche merengada (whipped milk).
10. Castelar Hotel
Avenida de Mayo 1150
Work by architect Mario Palanti, who also built Pasaje Barolo, was inaugurated in 1929. This is one of the most important hotels in Buenos Aires. It lodged the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca during the six months he had lived in Buenos Aires in the 30’s. It was also the venue for the famous meetings of artists like Norah Lange, Jorge Luis Borges, Oliverio Girondo and many others.
11. Avenida Theatre
Avenida de Mayo 1212
Inaugurated in 1908 after a work by Lope de Vega, this theatre keeps the memory of Spanish companies from the beginning of the century. It was closed in 1979 because of a fire and, after its reconstruction, it was re-opened in 1994, with Plácido Domingo’s presentation. It currently keeps the Spanish drama tradition.
12. Los 36 billares Bar
Avenida de Mayo 1265
Inaugurated in 1894, “Los 36” is one of the most traditional bars in Buenos Aires and one of the most important billiards center in the country. You can here find pool tables, snooker tables and, obviously billiard tables.
13. Chile Hotel
Avenida de Mayo 1297
Built by the French architect Jules Dubois, this is a neatly art noveau style of the beginning of century, with curved lines and rich ornamental details. The hotel opened in 1935.
14. Old Majestic Hotel
Avenida de Mayo 1317
Work by architects Federico Collivadino and Ítalo Benedetti, who finished the building in 1909. Here, Nijinsky and Le Corbusier stayed. At the moment, it is the seat of a branch of the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) and also the headquarters of the museum of said entity, where you can see from devices used to manufacture alcohol to a box used to collect taxes in century 19th.
15. Building of the Former Crítica Newspaper
Avenida de Mayo 1333>
It was the headquarters of the popular newspaper CRITICA, property of Natalio Botana. The work was directed by the Hungarian architects Gyorgy and Andrés Kalnay. Its facade presents elements of the art-decó style.
Collaborators of CRITICA in its splendor years between 1920 and 1930 were: Raúl González Tuñón, Roberto Arlt, Jorge L. Borges, Ulyses Petit de Murat and Florencio Escardó.
It currently lodges Federal Police Offices.
16. Barolo Building
Avenida de Mayo 1370
The Barolo Palace was built by the Italian architect Mario Palanti for Luis Barolo, a powerful textile businessman. Inaugurated in 1923, it was the highest building in the city of Buenos Aires until the construction of the Kavanagh in 1935. Each floor has a different design and the central dome reaches the height of a 24th floor. For many years, it has been an office building. Its dome has a lighthouse of 300,000 spark plugs by means of which news were spread.
Palanti was a specialist of Dante Alighieri’s art; the building, of romantic neo-Gothic style, is full of analogies and references to the Divine Comedy. The ground floor of the building is built based on the golden section and to the number of gold. The Palace's general division as well as that of the Divine Comedy is three-parted: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The lighthouse of the building represents the nine angelical choirs. On the lighthouse there is the Cruz of the South constellation, which aligns with the axis of the Barolo on the first days of June, at 7:45 PM. The building is 100 meters high, as the songs of the Divine Comedy. The Salvo Palace, on Montevideo street, is a twin brother to Barolo’s.
17. La Inmobiliaria Building
Avenida de Mayo between Luis Saénz Peña and San José avenues
La Inmobiliaria was originally an insurance company; that is why this is the name of the building. It dates from 1910, the work was designed by architect Luis Broggi. The superior part presents two reddish domes, with art noveau reminiscences, Italian-like and neoclassicist features, represented by the statues of Venus and Apollo located on top of the building.
18. Congress of the Nation
Entre Ríos avenue between Hipólito Irigoyen and Rivadavia avenues
It is the venue of the Legislative Power and it lodges the Senate and The House of Representatives. The project was in charge of the Italian architect Víctor Meano; however, after his death, the work was completed by Julio Dormal. It was built at the end of century 19th. Even though, it has been used since 1906, it was not finished until 1946. The dome of the Congress is the longest in the city.
19. Del Molino Patisserie
Avenida Rivadavia 1801
Although it was opened in 1860, the present building was completed in 1917. The project, of art nouveau style, was in charge of the Italian architect Francesco Gianotti. For its location –in front of the Congress, it was the meeting place for many Argentine politicians. The patisserie was closed in 1997.