Ten curious facts that you probably do not know about Pilar – Pilar a Diario

1-The lighthouse of the city

Unavoidable point of reference for the head town, the water tank is already more than 50 years old.

Its construction began in 1968 and ended in 1970. The building is 31 meters high and has 60 centimeter concrete walls, while its tank has the capacity to hold 1,000 m3 (1 million liters).

However, it is a sleeping giant: Pilar’s demographic boom made it obsolete for its initial purpose, that of providing water to the center of Pilar and the Villa Morra neighborhood.

It is that, according to experts, to mimic the pressure that the district currently requires, the tank should measure at least 60 meters, twice its size.

Today the structure works as a warehouse and changing room, with walls bordered by a narrow spiral staircase not suitable for people who suffer from vertigo … The water tank stopped being used in 2004, but the truth is that -active or not- never lose its status as a lighthouse of the city.

2-Tribute and mystery

The monument to the Volunteer Firefighters It is undoubtedly one of the most striking structures in Pilar. Its construction was commissioned and financed by the Rotary Club Pilar in the mid-1960s and the person in charge of devising the project was Fredy Llosa, who at that time was taking his first steps in the architecture career. For this he worked together with Guillermina Burcheri.

However, due to lack of budget, the original idea, which included a large spiral that ended in a sculpture, never came to fruition.

In addition, it is said that at the time of its construction the members of the Rotary deposited a time capsule inside it, the content of which would only be revealed in 2000.

But not everything is so easy. Those who introduced the capsule did not leave the exact place established, so no one remembers to this day where the message that the Pilareans of the 60s had to say could ever be revealed?

3-The mysterious princess

Turned into fascinating silent cities, village cemeteries house their stories and legends, and Pilar’s is no exception. Within its walls rest military personnel such as Cayetano Beliera, spiritual leaders such as Tibor Gordon or emblematic mayors, from Pedro Lagrave to Luis Lagomarsino.

However, it is said that a European princess is buried in the funds of the property, whose grave no one visited again after the austere intimate ceremony that took place on the day the service was performed, some five decades ago.

The tomb is open to the sky, almost next to a wall. Due to its precariousness, to know what it is you have to be accompanied by someone who knows the place. Only the cement base remains of the grave. There are no plates, photographs or anything like it, much less flowers. Everything that should ever have has been removed or unpainted. Of the identity of the supposed European princess, not a single piece of information is left standing.

4-In the footsteps of the renegade

As a truth that does not need documentation to be proven, in Pilar no one has doubts that, back in the 19th century, the legendary gaucho Juan Moreira inhabited the town’s dungeons.

Born in 1829, the old Partido de San José de Flores (later converted into one of the port neighborhoods), Moreira went down in history as an icon of the renegade gauchos, but behind that fame there is a history of injustice and contempt.

By killing a police officer in a confusing event – Moreira was claiming a debt – he began his escape, becoming one of the most wanted men.

The gaucho toured several towns and it is in this context that he is located in the old dungeons of Pilar. At that time, the cells were located on the property where the Municipal Palace still operates. On that block, the police station operated for decades. The area is accessed through the Bolvar street entrance.

They say that Juan Moreira spent time in detention in Pilar, before being transferred to another unit, from which – how could it be otherwise – he escaped?

5-The hand of Lola Mora

The Carlos Pellegrini Institute is an architectural jewel in itself, but also proudly shows off a work by the sculptor Lola Mora, one of the most relevant Argentine artists in history.

The bust of former president Carlos Pellegrini that bears the signature of the artist from Tucumán arrived at the building of the then College of Agricultural and Industrial Arts and Crafts Carlos Pellegrini in 1910. Although its first location was the establishment’s Games Room, then it was move to the outside of the building.

It is a reproduction in Carrara marble of a life-size bust that he had made years earlier in plaster in his workshop in Rome. Although it was originally intended to be part of the gallery of presidential busts of the Government House, fate wanted that work to end up resting in the district of Pilar.

There he endured, stoically, the passage of decades, like the fire that occurred in 2002 that destroyed a large part of the building. But the more than 100 years that have passed have left their marks and a broken nose.

The bust is still there, sentinel of a place that seeks to live again as in its best days.

6- The oldest books

Converted into an area of ​​culture par excellence in the district, the Bartolom Miter Popular Library will celebrate its first century of life in 2022.

Among its extensive inventory of books, there are several of them that stand out for their historical value, plus granted by the antiquity of the copy. Many of them rest in the building at 553 Belgrano Street.

The oldest book in the entire library is Life of the Glorious Patriarch Santo Domingo de Guzmn, a copy dating from 1703. It was written in old Spanish (for example, on its cover it says patriarcha), by the Presented Fray Francisco Possada.

As for books printed in the 19th century, the Library has a Latin-Spanish dictionary from 1860. It also has a copy of Around the World (Travel to the 5 continents), published in Paris in 1861.

Also include Conversations = Lexikon, German encyclopedia, 1866; and a unit of El gaucho Martn Fierro (1872), by Jos Hernndez.

For its part, Gramtica castellana dates from 1883, while Los desamparados was printed in Paris in 1890.

7-A warrior eagle

She is still there, stoic and looking straight ahead, in Rivadavia at 900, between Independencia and Fermn Gamboa. Even among the tangle of cables that cross its forehead, one of the best-known sculptures in the center of Pilar can be seen, haughty, which is none other than the bird that decorates what was once the butcher’s El eagle.

The animal was sculpted in 1917 and the builder of the work was Domingo Topazzini. The memorialists also remember that the building was the first in Pilar to have a large cold room. At that time, its owner was Don Jacinto Lpez.

The butcher shop operated until 1975, but the façade has been left practically intact since then. Despite the fact that several years ago the place has changed its category, its eagle is still there, firm, with its gaze fixed on the horizon like a guardian of a Pillar that has already ceased to exist for decades.

8-Cement skeleton

In the block between Pedro Lagrave, Rivadavia, Hiplito Yrigoyen and Ituzaing streets, the unfinished building that stands above the bus terminal is part of the everyday landscape.

Its construction was an old desire of those who founded the site: visionaries of the growth that perhaps one day Pilar would have, they imagined a space for commercial premises, apartments and offices.

Regarding dates, although there are no great details, it is known that the original works date from the late 1970s, although in the popular imagination it is usually believed that the structure is much older.

At the time, these works were stopped by the economic fluctuations of the country, added to the death of several proprietary partners. Since then, the skeleton of the tower has been erected on the premises located in the wing that overlooks Rivadavia street.

Several times there was talk of refloating the project, but the truth is that the cement giant is still there, hoping that one day what was started will be completed.

9-The legacy of a genius

Inescapable protagonist of the plastic and architectural creation of the last fifty years, Clorindo Testa He passed away in 2013 at the age of 89, leaving as a legacy a series of emblematic works in the city of Buenos Aires, such as the National Library, the Recoleta Cultural Center and the former Bank of London.

Pilar was also able to enjoy his talent, since Testa is the father of the auditorium and the Library of the Nuestra Seora del Pilar Campus, of the Universidad del Salvador.

Owner of a unique and unrepeatable style, impossible to classify or label in any current, the architect knew how to cross every limit with a very personal and easy to identify stamp.

Regarding the work at the Pilar headquarters of the USAL, Testa creates a kind of controlled chaos, where it achieved a very good management of natural light, highlighting, for example, the curved ceilings and the semicircular and triangular windows.

A contemporary architecture so personal that perhaps it is often misunderstood as soon as it sees the light of day, but in the short term it can only garner admiration.

The pioneer and forgotten club

Very few know that, during several decades of the last century, Pilar had her Lawn Tennis Club, a space where lovers of this sport, still young at that time, come with their rackets.

Founded on November 11, 1920, the Lawn Tennis was located in front of the Pilar train station, where Toms Marquez Avenue begins today. There the only field of the club was located.

Men and women of the time actively participated in the foundation, the installation of the court and its maintenance, among them Amelia Jordn, Eva Vergani, Rosa and Manuel Martnez Melo, Agustn Sanguinetti and Horacio Patio, to name a few. Even its first directive commission was headed by the aforementioned Amelia Jordn, something unusual at the time. Another woman who took his reins, already in the 40s, was Alva F. de Martitegui.

El Pilar Lawn Tennis Club function until the middle of the 20th century and his name and quality as a pioneer (both in sport and in gender parity) was fraying in the memory of the people, until it was almost forgotten.

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Ten curious facts that you probably do not know about Pilar – Pilar a Diario

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