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Boletín de Novedades Cursos y Talleres Biblioteca Diseño web: PalcioDurazno.com Chronicle of the Recovery of a National Heritage


In the year 2002, the 85 year old Careaga Newspaper and Magazine Delivery Company bought a new place for its headquarters in the Old City, the oldest part of Montevideo. At the back of the site there was a storeroom of 10 x 12 m , which had been built in the 1940s. the roof of the building was made with sheets of asbestos laid on beams. The most important characteristic of this building was a basement which had two rooms separated by a thick wall and a passage way to go from one room to the other. This part of the building seemed to be much older than the rest, probably dating from the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th. These rooms could be reached by going down a stairway made of reinforced concrete, presumably built during some repairs done in 1976.

The ceiling of the basement was actually the wooden floor of the ground floor and it was made of beams, brick and iron. The whole building, with its two levels, had been used first as a warehouse by the firm Trabucatti and then as a Dyeing Plant.. As a result of the latter the whole place was damaged, specially the floors and walls, not only by the destructive action of the dyes but also by the fact that the building was usually flooded.

The Crocco-Lacroix firm of architects advised the new owners to call Mario Delbracio, a chemical engineer who suggested to do away with the original wooden material due to its high toxicity caused by fumes from the dyes.

The main structure of the building was thoroughly examined by the architects who determined that owing to their bad condition they were not able to support the weight required by the new construction. For this reason a new structure was planned.

And it was then, when the workers were demolishing the old supports, that the whole project took and unexpected direction; the moment the workers started to take the plaster, which was more then 10 cm thick, from the walls, they found there were not bricks underneath, but the stones of the ancient wall that surrounded the colonial city of Montevideo. Nobody could have guessed that that plastered wall which supported beams, iron and concrete and where water pipes were hidden, was really the remains of a colonial building. According to the specialized bibliography consulted, the site was situated a few metres from the junction of the streets Bartolome Mitre and 25 de Mayo, the place the ancient gate of San Pedro , the main entrance to the colonial city, was situated.

Such `discovery´ gave a complete new insight and a new significance to the project. It was considered that the sight of a stretch of the colonial wall was rare in our city and for that reason it should be preserved to the maximun.

The process of recovery of this stretch of `the wall' demanded a lot of man's hours of effort, dedication and work but most important of all, they were all sensitive to the demands of the project. It is due to all this that today we can proudly present it to the community.



Before the Recovery:

   

   
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