Confitería El Molino
Cayetano Brenna, a famous confectioner, commissioned Italian architect Francisco Gianotti in 1915 to design the building that would house a café on its ground floor. The café itself opened on July 9, 1916, and when completed in 1917 the building became one of the tallest in the city with a corner turret rising 65 metres (213 ft). Illuminated from the inside with electric lighting, the turret featured stained glass windows and decorative windmill sails. El Molino and Galería Güemes were two of Gianotti's greatest works and represent important examples of Art Nouveau style architecture in Buenos Aires.
Over the years El Molino became a favourite meeting place for local cultural, business, and political figures. The café was closed on February 23, 1997, however, and today is only rarely opened to the public for events designed to advertise the urgent need to restore the building, prior further disintegration.
El Molino was declared a National Historic Monument in 1997. Congress approved its purchase by the Argentine Government in a bill passed unanimously on November 12, 2014. Plans include the restoration of the building and reopening of the namesake café, as well as the creation of a museum of early 20th century life in Buenos Aires. Officially, the building will be an annex of the Argentine Congress serving numerous functions, though the coffee shop itself is to be operated by the private sector.
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- Mimi Böhm, Buenos Aires, Art Nouveau, Ediciones Xavier Verstraeten, Buenos Aires, 2005.
- Monumentos Históricos Nacionales y Bienes Declarados de la República Argentina, Comisión Nacional de Museos y de Monumentos y Lugares Históricos de la República Argentina, Edición 2008.