Buenos Aires unfolds majestically on this fine plan, made around 1930, during a period of explosive economic, cultural and population growth for the Argentine capital. High commodity prices had seen Argentina become one of the most vibrant economies in the world, while decades of European immigration had made Buenos Aires into one of the most culturally sophisticated cites in the Americas. The city’s population had spiked from around 800,000 in 1903 to over 2.2 million in 1928.
The vast grid of streets and squares depicted on the map was lined with elegant apartment blocks and grand public edifices. This particular early edition of the Bemporat plan of Buenos Aires was made especially for automobile drivers, at the very time that the use of cars was becoming widespread for the first time. Explained within the box entitled ‘Pavimentacion Urbana’, in the lower right, the streets heightened in red are cobbled, while the streets heightened in blue are paved with asphalt. The insets along the sides detail some of the city’s outlying residential barrios.
The numbers on the map correspond to the index the accompanying index, while a plastic square, included in the map’s wallet assists in locating the precise coordinates. Emphasized by the borders, the cartouches and the compass rose, the map assumes the elegant contemporary style of the Art Nouveau.
The Oficina Cartográfica Bemporat was an important Argentine map publishing house based in Córdoba that operated from about 1928 until 1970. They specialized in large, colourful and elegantly lithographed folding city plans and regional maps. The present plan of Buenos Aires is an early edition of their most important map series detailing the Argentine capital that went through numerous editions with different thematic focuses. Bemporat’s other notable publications included the Atlas Bemporat de la República Argentina (1938), the Argentine railway map, Mapa Bemporat de ferrocarriles de la República Argentina, the city plans Plano Bemporat de Montevideo (1934), Plano de la Ciudad de La Paz (1941), Plano Bemporat Rosario, and the Mapa Bemporat Entre Ríos.
A magnificent artifact of a golden period in Buenos Aires’s history.
References: Cf. (another edition) OCLC: 213509312.