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Avenida del Libertador is one of the principal thoroughfares in Buenos Airesmarker, Argentinamarker, and in points north, extending 25 km (16 mi) from the Retiromarker section of Buenos Aires to the northern suburb of San Fernandomarker.

History

Inspired by Parisianmarker urbanist Baron Haussmann's renown modernization of the City of Lights, Mayor Torcuato de Alvear took office with a similar mandate in 1880. Inheriting a rapidly-growing city hamstrung by a typically colonial grid of narrow streets, his most ambitious project would be a boulevard connecting the Retiromarker section (north of downtown) to the growing neighborhoods of Recoletamarker and Palermomarker to the northeast (at the time merely suburbs). Bella Vista Street was widened and lenghthened, reaching 7 km (4.5 mi) northwest into Palermo and, upon its inaugural in 1885, was renamed in honor the Mayor's father, Carlos María de Alvear (one of Argentina's early leaders).

Soon becoming among the most coveted addresses in Buenos Aires, Alvear Avenue was graced by numerous mansions (a few of which survive), though it quickly also became among the most transited in the fast-growing Buenos Aires of the late 19th century. Planned with a future railway terminalmarker in Retiro in mind, Mayor Adolfo Bullrich had a multilane boulevard developed between Retiro and Palermo, roughly parallel to the Mitre rail line and east of Alvear Avenue, giving Palermo commuters easy access to the station and freeing Alvear of its heavy traffic.

Opened in 1906, Viceroy Vértiz Avenue was renamed Avenida del Libertador in 1950 in honor of the Liberator of Argentina, Chile and Perú, General José de San Martín, by order of President Juan Perón and to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of San Martín's passing. A 15 km (9 mi) thoroughfare (Route 195) connecting Buenos Aires to San Fernando was built in the late 1930s and was likewise renamed in 1950. The subsequent automobile boom and the growth of northside neighborhoods and suburbs led Mayor Manuel Iricíbar in 1968 to order the extension of the avenue northwards into the Belgranomarker and Núñezmarker neighborhoods. The extension was facilitated by a tunnel and by the widening of Blandengues Street, which became part of Avenida del Libertador. Thus connected to the avenue of the same name north of Buenos Aires, Libertador's entry into the suburb of Vicente Lópezmarker via a roundabout was replaced by a freeway underpass and its boulevard medians, removed. Severe rush hour traffic congestion along the avenue was alleviated by the 1996 opening of the Arturo Illia Freeway, running parallel to the avenue and providing a (toll road) alternative to the busy junction at Libertador and Ninth of July Avenuemarker.

El túnel del tiempo

Vialidad Nacional

Itinerary

Approximate route
Retiro-area highrises along the avenue.
The Illia Freeway overpass is visible at three o'clock.


Leandro Alem Avenue at its northern end becomes Libertador Avenue at the southeast corner of San Martín Plaza. Continuing northwards along the Retiromarker district, it passes by the important Retiro railway terminalmarker and in parallel to the Mitre rail line. Past the Railway Museum, it travels under the Illia Freeway overpass and through the intersection with the massive 9th of July Avenue. Entering the Recoletamarker district, the avenue affords a view of Alvear Plaza and the Recoleta Cultural Centermarker before a fork leads to Figueroa Alcorta Avenue, a parallel throroughfare opened in 1910. The National Museum of Fine Artsmarker is located at this junction. Its Palermomarker district stretch takes the avenue past the Argentine Automobile Club, the National Museum of Decorative Artsmarker, the Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens, Tres de Febrero Parkmarker and the Palermo Hippodromemarker. Its route along both these neighborhoods is surrounded by some of the most valuable residential real estate in Buenos Aires.
Skyline along the avenue in the Las Cañitas section of Palermo.
A tunnel opened in 1971 takes the avenue past the Municipal Golf Course and into the Belgranomarker district. In Núñezmarker, it passes by the infamous Navy Mechanics School, which housed the most important of the 340 detention centers operated by Argentina's last dictatorship in the late 1970s. The ESMA is today the National Museum of Remembrance. An underpass then leads into the northern suburb of Vicente Lópezmarker, beginning the avenue's 15 km (9 mi) stretch in Buenos Aires Provincemarker. The scenery of high rises and shopping areas there and in neighboring Olivosmarker gradually blends into leafy San Isidromarker, passing by the Neogothic Cathedral of San Isidro. A detour via Primera Junta Avenue continues the interrupted thoroughfare into San Fernandomarker until its city limit with the Paraná Delta city of Tigremarker, where it ends past a bridge over one of the area's numerous canals.

Image gallery

File:Buenos Aires - Retiro - Libertador.jpg|The avenue's outsetFile:Libertador and 9 de Julio - Buenos Aires.jpg|Along the Retiro sectionFile:Libertador Ave Retiro Buenos Aires.jpg|Along the Recoleta sectionFile:Biblioteca Nacional Buenos Aires 07 2005.jpg|The National LibraryFile:Buenos Aires - Palermo - Libertador.jpg|Entering PalermoFile:AutomovilClubArgentino.JPG|The Argentine Automobile ClubmarkerFile:MNAD001.JPG|The National Museum of Decorative ArtsFile:Fuente Riqueza Agropecuaria Argentina.jpg| German PlazaFile:Monumento de los Españoles2.jpg|Monument to the Four Argentine RegionsFile:Esquina de libertador.jpg|Entering NúñezFile:Provincia de Buenos Aires - Olivos - Libertador.jpg|Along OlivosFile:20060128 - Catedral de San Isidro (Argentina).jpg|The Cathedral of San Isidro


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