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Galerias Pacifico is a shopping mall located on Florida street, at the junction with Cordoba Avenue in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Beaux Arts building was designed by the architects Emilio Agrelo and Roland Le Vacher in 1889 to accommodate a shop called the Argentine Bon Marche, modelled on the Le Bon Marche in Paris.
In 1896 part of the building was transformed into the first home for the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and in 1908 the British-owned Buenos Aires and Pacific railway company acquired part of the building for offices. The company's name derived from the fact that its intention was to operate a train service linking Buenos Aires and Valparaiso in Chile, thereby giving access to the Pacific Ocean. From that time onwards the building became known as Edificio Pacifico.
In 1945 the building was remodelled by architects Jose Aslan and Hector Ezcurra, and the offices were separated from the rest of the building. A large central cupola was constructed and decorated with 12 frescos by artists Lino Enea Spilimbergo, Antonio Berni, Juan Carlos Castagnino, Manuel Colmeiro and Demetrio Urruchua. These frescos, executed in 1946, are some of the most important in Buenos Aires.
In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein describes how the building was used as a torture center by the military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 through 1983:
In 1989 it was declared a national historic monument.
After having been abandoned for years, the building was renovated by Juan Carlos Lopez and Associates and re-opened in 1990 as the shopping arcade Galerias Pacifico. Four more frescos by Romulo Maccio, Josefina Robirosa, Guillermo Roux and Carlos Alonso were added to the cupola. In addition to the shopping arcade the building also contains the Jorge Luis Borges Cultural Centre and the Julio Bocca Dance Studio.
Currently the mall houses many high-end stores, such as Tiffany's, Polo Ralph Lauren, Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger and La Martina, among others.
Catalogue of Monuments
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Galerias Pacifico