It was designed and built between 1943 and 1946 by Amancio Williams and Delfina Galvez Bunge over the Las Chacras Stream in the city of Mar del Plata. It eventually became known as "The House on the River" or "The Bridge House". However, it ceased to have a stream, and thus to be a bridge, in 1957 when the watercourse on which it rested was interrupted for sanitation reasons. It was used as a radio station between 1970 and 1977, but the last military dictatorship in Argentina ended up shutting it down. It remained closed, maintained by its owner until their death in 1991. Studied by all, but cared for by none. It suffered two major fires, in 2004 and 2008. Abandoned during the whole succession process, it was recovered by the Municipality of General Pueyrredón in 2012.
More than seven decades after its construction, in 2016, it was declared a National Historic Artistic Monument. In 2017, after the promise to completely restore the house, it was not possible to raise the necessary funds to carry out the process. In 2019 the municipality announces the opening of the call for tenders. In June 2021, the plans to restore the house were awarded an investment of 42,148,784.15 Argentinean pesos from the National Treasury. For twelve months, the restoration division of the Consulper company will be in charge of the recovery and enhancement of the entire building. If all goes according to plan, in 2022 "The House on the River" will be restored to its original splendour and become a museum open to the public. With a bit of luck, this paradigmatic example of twentieth-century architecture and an obligatory reference for understanding the influences of the Modern Movement in Argentina and Latin America will end its journey with a happy ending.
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These news has to do with the actual start of work on the "House on the River". Following the tender process through an agreement with the national government and the awarding of the contract, the company has already taken possession of the site and has begun work on the preliminary surveys and the erection of the subsidiary structures required to begin the restoration process.
According to the report prepared by the Ministry of Public Works: "According to the specifications of the tender the work taking place in the main house will include the refurbishment of the roof, facades, masonry, plastering, ceilings, ironwork and metal elements, carpentry, furniture and equipment for interiors."
In addition to the initial tests carried out on the resistant structures, subfloors and cladding, all the elements that were not part of the original project have been dismantled and the process of washing the structural arch of the house has begun in order to remove graffiti and stickers on the outer layer of the arch.
The national government has also announced that work will continue on repairing the roof and façades in order to prevent further deterioration. The existing masonry and the interior and exterior plastering will also undergo a restoration process. The ceilings will be chipped and consolidated and the material on all the floors will be removed, restored and replaced.
Info via 'Clarín', 'Infobrisas' and '0223'.