Skip to content

Category: Black + white

445. historic photo 6

Recoleta Cemetery, H.G. Olds, historic photo

Harry Grant Olds (1869-1943) was one of the most successful early photographers of Buenos Aires, coming to Argentina in 1900 after a brief stint in Valparaiso, Chile. This photo was taken in 1900 in the northwest corner of Recoleta Cemetery. Of note are the large mausoleum for the Familia del Carril, the monument to federal judge Virgilio M. Tedín &—although blending into the trees a bit—the memorial to Luis Viale.

Source: postcard sale on Mercado Libre… a great online source for finding old photographs. More incredible photos by Olds can be found in a collection titled “H.G. Olds, Fotografías 1900-1943, Un norteamericano retrata la Argentina (Ediciones de la Antorcha, 2011).

2 Comments

259. defferrari ◊

In post #045, the original owners of the spectacular Art Deco/Neo-Byzantine vault pictured below had not been confirmed. Removed long ago, their family name has been cited differently in every book about the cemetery, with DeFerrari or Del Ferrari being the most common:

Defferrari, Recoleta Cemetery

Thanks to Alejandro Machado & his obsession with Buenos Aires architecture, the family name has been verified as Defferari. Machado found the following photos in a January 1925 edition of a trade magazine titled “El Arquitecto.” Zooming in, the family name is fuzzy but certainly legible. There were a couple of interior photos published as well:

Defferrari, Recoleta Cemetery

Defferrari, Recoleta Cemetery

Defferrari, Recoleta Cemetery

Defferrari, Recoleta Cemetery

Even more exciting is the discovery of the identity of the architect… another bit of lost architectural heritage recovered by Machado. Alejandro Virasoro became the most important Art Deco architect in Buenos Aires with dozens of masterpieces in the city & founded a firm which still exists today. None of Virasoro’s buildings have the same Neo-Byzantine style of his vault in Recoleta Cemetery, but they are equally impressive… like this telescopic dome on Diagonal Norte:

Alejandro Virasoro, Diagonal Norte

2 Comments

255. historic photo 5

Iglesia de Pilar, Buenos Aires

Thanks to empedrados on Flickr for this rather fuzzy photo of the Iglesia de Pilar. Recoleta Cemetery is located immediately to the left of the church & the grounds in front look rather savage… but the police seem to have everything under control.

No date given for the photo.

Leave a Comment

228. historic photo 4

AGN, 1953 pic, Recoleta Cemetery

The National Archives (Archivo General de la Nación) house a collection of about 50 historic photos of Recoleta Cemetery. The above photo, taken from the top of the entrance gate, dates from 1953 & shows that very little has changed over the past 50 years.

But compare this photograph to one from 1923 to see dramatic change… in the space of 30 years, all the highrises which now overlook the cemetery were built.

Leave a Comment