It is of little use to renovate a space when its surroundings are still damaged, poorly maintained, patched. With this idea in mind is that not only the City Museum is valued but also its surroundings: street and sidewalk at the same level, replacement of cobblestones, new tiles. Tenders have already been called for this new work, which will take five months.
The City Museum is distributed over four buildings in Alsina and Defensa, in the Monserrat neighborhood. The internal intervention is being carried out in three of them. The idea is that the institution is the gateway to know Buenos Aires.
New showrooms and a tourist welcome center will be some of the changes included in the work, which is part of the official plan of enhancement of the Buenos Aires Historic Center. Now it is added, also, the improvement of the environment.
The renovation of the museum began at the beginning of December and is carried out by the Ministry of Public Space and Urban Hygiene, with funds from the National Tourism Investment Program “50 Destinations” of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Nation.
At the beginning of December the renovation of the City Museum began. Photo Emmanuel Fernández
This plan, which promotes tourism infrastructure works in the 24 provinces, is financed with 1,200 million pesos from the PAIS Tax, the famous 30% surcharge on the purchase of foreign currency. The renovation of the museum implies an investment of 60 million pesos.
The enhancement of the environmentMeanwhile, it will demand 39 million pesos. It will cover Defensa street in the section between Alsina and Moreno, and the front of the San Francisco square, on Alsina. It will involve, on the one hand, level the street to the level of the sidewalk and lay new pavers, good news for both drivers and pedestrians, who for years have suffered the consequences of an increasingly uneven surface.
Too the paths on Defense will be widened and repaired in both hands and new tiles of 20 centimeters by 20 will be placed. Another concern is the drainage of water: that is why new grates will be installed on the sidewalks, in order to improve the storm drain system.
With this work, the Buenos Aires government seeks activate the area from a tourist, cultural and commercial point of view. But, also, reinforce the pedestrian connection between Plaza de Mayo and Parque Lezama, improve the conditions to circulate around the museum and thus encourage people to walk.
“These works are intended to transform the City and make it on a human scale, creating a pedestrian corridor that connects the Plaza de Mayo with the south of the City and, at the same time, creates a recreational space for the residents ”, explains Clara Muzzio, the Buenos Aires Minister of Public Space and Urban Hygiene.
Total, about 1,800 square meters will be intervened, 300 square meters of sidewalk will be added, 10 street lamps will be renovated, four new ones will be installed and 102 bollards will be incorporated, those bullet-shaped devices on the cordon line to delimit areas and thus make traffic safer.
Defense Street at 200, where the Museum of the City is. Photo Maxi Failla
Meanwhile, the museum, which will reopen on July 9, continues to renew itself. It occupies four buildings: the Altos de la Farmacia de la Estrella (Defensa 412) and the premises of that pharmacy (Alsina 402); the House of the Cherubim (Defense 219/223); the house of the Altos de Elorriaga (Alsina and Defensa), and the house of María Josefa Ezcurra (Alsina 455). The intervention is being carried out in the first three.
In the Altos de Elorriaga they work on a tourist welcome center with interactive maps, digital charts and a selfie point or point to take selfies, among other resources. It is announced as the most innovative in Argentina and the starting point to tour the City.
A cultural shop, a bar, a confectionery and new exhibition rooms for emerging social manifestations, architecture and urban planning, and material culture of objects will also be built. Even the terrace will be enabled for activities, a space that adds more than ever in a pandemic.
Meanwhile, in Altos de la Estrella the awnings are renewed, and La Casa de los Querubines prepares spaces for temporary exhibitions and for exhibitions about the country. New life for a building that already has more than half a century of history.