Urban Fold

Buenos Aires Confronts its Crumbling History; But is it Too Late?

The retirement of Buenos Aires's beloved wooden train cars are emblematic of the city's struggle to preserve its physical heritage amid underinvestment, widespread demolition, and uninspired redevelopment, reports Emily Schmall.

According to Schmall, in Buenos Aires, "a local reaction against the retirement of the La Brugeoise trains, known here affectionately as Las Brujas, or the witches, has fueled a debate over which elements of Argentina’s rich cultural heritage are worth saving."

"Preservationists say illegal demolitions, chronic underinvestment and unimaginative architecture that is replacing the historic buildings threaten to erase the city’s heritage as a mecca for European immigrants, who arrived in boatloads to what was, at the beginning of the last century, one of the richest countries in the world."

“'Argentina promised to be a very, very important country,' said Teresa Anchorena, an artist and member of the National Commission of Museums, Monuments and Historic Places, which lobbies for the protection of hundreds of sites throughout the country. 'Argentina’s broken promise is reflected in its buildings.'”

Full Story: An Argentine Tradition Threatens to Crumble With City Architecture

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