With a long history of military participation in Argentina, Bustillo family members saw action in the 1806 British invasion, the fight for independence under General José de San Martín, the struggle for national organization between Urquiza & Rosas, & the War of the Triple Alliance. But it was Alejandro Bustillo who made the most lasting contribution to Argentina as an architect for some of its largest cities.
Born in 1889, Alejandro graduated with a degree in architecture in 1914… no doubt inspired by his uncle, Eduardo Madero. His early works were mainly private dwellings but by the 1930s, Bustillo produced dozens of major buildings seemingly without stopping for breath.
Among some of his best known constructions are the hotel-casino in Mar del Plata (1938), headquarters for the Banco de la Nación in Buenos Aires (1940), & the cathedral & Hotel Llao Llao in Bariloche (1938-40). All are pictured below:
Bustillo claimed to be influenced by Albert Speer, chief architect for Hitler… evident in the scale of his larger works. Considered one of the great 20th-century architects of Argentina, Alejandro Bustillo passed away in 1982 at the age of 93.
The family tomb is the oldest in Recoleta Cemetery. At a time when graves were typically for individuals (remember Remedios de Escalada has the oldest single plot), the Bustillo family was one of the first to build a mausoleum. It dates from 1823, constructed only one year after the cemetery’s opening: