Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero

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Puerto Madero

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Puerto Madero, also known within the urban planning community as the Puerto Madero Waterfront, is a barrio (district) of the Argentine capital at Buenos Aires CBD, occupying a significant portion of the Río de la Plata riverbank and representing the latest architectural trends in the city of Buenos Aires.


19th century

From its inception, the city of Buenos Aires had a problem accommodating large cargo ships 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. Madero's project, designed by British engineer Sir John Hawkshaw, was chosen from among numerous others.

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 although an engineering landmark at the time, 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 river was among those rejected in the 1880s. His plans resulted in the "Puerto...
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