Puerto Madero


Puerto Madero, also known within the urban planning community as the Puerto Madero Waterfront, is a Barrios and Communes of Buenos Aires, barrio of Buenos Aires in Argentina in the Buenos Aires central business district, central business district, occupying a significant portion of the Río de la Plata riverbank and representing the latest architectural trends.


19th century

From its inception, the city of Buenos Aires had a problem accommodating large cargo ships, as per Puerto La Boca, because the shallow river did not allow for direct docking. Instead ships were moored away from the shore and passengers and merchandise were unloaded onto barges and ferries for transport to the pier. In 1882 the national government contracted the local businessman Eduardo Madero to take charge of the construction of a new port which would solve these problems. Construction began in 1887 and was completed in 1897, although the installed fittings had been partially operative some years before completion of the port. It was a costly project and an engineering landmark at the time but ten years after its completion the appearance of larger cargo ships made Puerto Madero obsolete. The government had to then face the construction of a new port, this time contracting engineer Luis Huergo, whose plans for a port of staggered docks which would open directly onto the Río de la Plata, river was among those rejected in the 1880s. His plans resulted in the "Port of Buenos Aires, Puerto Nuevo" (New Port), still operating today, whose first section opened in 1911. File:Muelle de Pasajeros - Buenos Aires.jpg, Edward Taylor's pier, a city landmark from 1855 until the docks' development File:Buenos Aires 1915.jpg, The Buenos Aires Harbor around 1915 File:A Partial View from the Harbor of Buenos Aires Today (4724640995).jpg, Partial view of Buenos Aires Harbor File:Central Train Station in Buenos Aires.jpg, Central Train Station is now part of Puerto Madero

20th century: from neglect to recovery

The New Port of Buenos Aires was completed in 1926, making the existing Madero docks superfluous. Though these continued to serve in ancillary port functions, the zone gradually decayed, becoming one of the city's most degraded areas, a mixture of warehouses and large tracts of undeveloped land. In 1925, 1940, 1960, 1969, 1971, 1981 and 1985, successive proposals were put forth with the intent of urbanizing the old port, or to demolish it outright; none of these plans came to fruition, however. On November 15, 1989, the Ministry of Works and Public Services, the Department of the Interior and the City of Buenos Aires signed the acts of incorporation of a joint-stock company denominated "Corporación Antiguo Puerto Madero" ("Old Puerto Madero Corporation"). Having as objective the urbanization of the area, the federal and city governments participated as egalitarian partners. The 170 hectares of the place had overlapping jurisdictions: the General Administration of Ports, Argentine railroads and the "Junta Nacional de Granos" (National Grain Board) had interests in the zone. The signed agreement implied the transference of the totality of the area to the Old Puerto Madero Corporation S.A., whereas the government of the city remained in charge of the urban development regulations.

21st century

In the 1990s, local and foreign investment led to a massive regeneration effort, Adaptive reuse, recycling and refurbishing the west side warehouses into elegant houses, offices, lofts, private universities, luxurious hotels and restaurants that conform to a gallery of options for this new district in a city that grew up turning its back to the river. Led by the 1999 opening of the Hilton Buenos Aires, luxurious hotels, state-of-the-art multiplex cinemas, theatres, cultural centres, and office and corporate buildings are located mostly in the east side. Puerto Madero has been redeveloped with international flair, drawing interest from businessmen, architects and designers such as Santiago Calatrava, Norman Foster, César Pelli, Alan Faena, Philippe Starck among others. Today one of the trendiest boroughs in Buenos Aires, it has become the preferred address for growing numbers of young professionals and retirees, alike. Increasing property prices have also generated interest in the area as a destination for foreign buyers, particularly those in the market for premium investment properties. The neighborhood's road network has been entirely rebuilt, especially in the east side. The layout of the east side consists currently of three wide boulevards running east–west crossed by the east side's main street, Juana Manso Avenue. The layout is completed with some other avenues and minor streets, running both east–west and north–south, and by several Pedestrian zone, pedestrianised streets. Every street in Puerto Madero is named after women. The Puente de la Mujer (Women's Bridge), by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is the newest link between the east and west docks of Puerto Madero; a museum inaugurated in 2008, the Fortabat Art Collection, itself resulted from an initiative by María Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat (the wealthiest woman in Argentina). Puerto Madero currently represents the largest Urban renewal, urban renewal project in the city of Buenos Aires. Having undergone an impressive revival in merely a decade, it is one of the most successful recent waterfront renewal projects in the world. At Puerto Madero Dock 2 (between Azucena Villaflor and Rosario Vera Peñaloza - teacher and La Rioja educator) buildings belonging to the Universidad Católica Argentina stand successively to the west, and the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires (formerly Faena Hotel+Universe) is located to the east of Dock 2. Located on the corner of Aimé Painé (Mapuche Princess and indigenous rights activist) and Rosario Vera Peñaloza, the modern Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza was inaugurated in 1996 and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who under the title of Stella Maris, or "Star of the Sea", is the patron saint of the Argentine Coast Guard. The docks aligned with Dique 2, between 1400 and 1500 of Avenida Moreau de Justo, are mostly occupied by various apartment buildings and offices of the Universidad Católica Argentina and its Pabellón de las Artes (Arts Pavilion), a space for art showings with access from the pedestrian side of the dock. Here, there are some bars and coffee shops.

New high-rise construction

Numerous new residential high-rises of up to 50 stories have been built facing the Rio de la Plata since 2000. These include Alvear Tower, Renoir Towers, El Faro towers, El Faro Towers, Chateau Tower of Puerto Madero and Mulieris towers, Mulieris Towers amongst others. Many other high-rises that have recently been inaugurated include the Le Parc tower, Le Parc Tower and Hilton Buenos Aires, Hilton and River View Towers. Office and hotel high-rises are also being built such as the Repsol-YPF tower, Repsol YPF Headquarters and the Conrad Buenos Aires Hotel & Resort, whose construction is slated to begin at the end of 2008 and completion scheduled for late 2010. Additionally a St. Regis Hotel, St. Regis Starwood Hotel is being built in the first ''dique'', where the famous nightclub Opera Bay was formerly located, and is scheduled to open in 2013. A large Jumeirah (hotel chain), Jumeirah Polo resort will also feature a hotel in Puerto Madero, working conjointly with polo fields outside Buenos Aires.


The Tranvía del Este, inaugurated in 2007 and closed in 2012, served the area running parallel to Alicia Moreau de Justo Avenue, along the barrio's western side. The neighborhood is still not well-connected to the city's transit network. Few bus routes run through Puerto Madero, no subway line reaches it and there are currently no official plans to extend the subway network to the neighborhood despite planned further extensions of the tramway slated to link the Estación Retiro, Retiro and Estación Constitución, Constitución train stations.

Expressway controversy

An expressway connecting the north and the south of the city through Puerto Madero has long been in the planning stage. Several alternatives have been considered, including elevated, groundlevel, underground, and even an underwater proposal by private developer Julio Torcello, which would have run under the four docks. This last proposal was dismissed as impossible to build. All proposals have been criticised: the elevated and ground level options because they would constitute a barrier between Puerto Madero and the rest of the city, and the underground scheme because of the cost and the negative impact during construction. Placing the expressway between Puerto Madero and the Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve has also been considered, but has been strongly opposed by environmentalists.

Museums and Art Galleries

In the neighborhood there are several museums and art galleries, among them Fortabat Art Collection, Faena Arts Center, Ernesto de la Cárcova Museum of Reproductions and Comparative Sculpture, De la Cárcova Museum. The list includes: * ARA Presidente Sarmiento, ARA ''Presidente Sarmiento'' * ARA Uruguay, ARA ''Uruguay''

Visual index to buildings, monuments, and attractions

File:Costanerasur.jpg, Puerto Madero from Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve File:Buenos Aires-Puerto Madero-Hilton-River View.jpg, Hilton Buenos Aires, Hilton Hotel and River View Towers behind the Yacht Club File:P1050798.JPG, Libertador Building, the Argentine Ministry of Defense File:Corbeta Uruguay (A.R.A.).jpg, Corvette ARA Uruguay, ''Uruguay'' File:Buque_Museo_Fragata_Presidente_Sarmiento.jpg, Frigate ARA Presidente Sarmiento, ''Presidente Sarmiento'' File:Buenos Aires, the Woman's Bridge (123009).jpg, Santiago Calatrava's Puente de la Mujer, "Woman's Bridge" File:Madero Center.JPG, Madero Center File:Faena Arts Center in Puerto Madero.jpg, Faena Arts Center



* Ann Breen and Dick Rigby, ''The New Waterfront: A Worldwide Urban Success Story'' – Text: English, McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (1996) - - * Jorge Francisco Liernur, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, ''CASE, Nº6: Puerto Madero Waterfront '' – Text: English – Prestel Publishing (2007) - -
Waterfronts - A new frontier for cities on water
Text: English, Edizioni Città d'Acqua, Venezia

External links

Official Puerto Madero websiteUnofficial Puerto Madero tourist and entertainment guide
Puerto Madero video

Photographic documentation and panoramas
{{Coord, 34, 36, 43, S, 58, 21, 53, W, region:AR-C_type:landmark, display=title Neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires Redeveloped ports and waterfronts Tourism in Argentina Mixed-use developments in Argentina