Not everything is beach. 5 unmissable walks in Mar del Plata to discover its history and culture
One of the best-known sites in this area cannot be visited this season: the Casa Sobre el Arroyo – an emblem of modernist architecture designed by Amancio Williams – is undergoing enhancement works that have a deadline until mid-2022. They also closed in December the Osvaldo Soriano Cultural Center to renovate it. But there are several options to enjoy Mar del Plata beyond the beach.
This walk combines the best 360º view of the sea and the city, and is a key element of the city’s history and water supply. It is detected when going up Colón Avenue, at the top of the Stella Maris hill. From 88 meters high, it was inaugurated in 1943 and is a National Historical Monument; its style blends with that of the area, as it has a gabled slate roof and is clad in quartzite stone, also known as “Mar del Plata stone”.
The building is part of the city’s Sanitary Works system, with an elevated tank (with a capacity of 500,000 liters) and a cistern at the base – with 13 million liters – that supply water to the entire area.
The Tank Tower you can visit with a guide, on a tour that goes up (by stairs or elevator) up to 75 meters high to enjoy the panoramic view, reviewing the history of the monument and the provision of water in the city. During the summer they usually schedule concerts in the gardens that surround her (the agenda of activities can be checked in her Instagram).
How to visit: Falucho 995, Mendoza corner. Guided tours from Monday to Friday at 10, 12 and 14, only with prior reservation by mail or phone: [email protected] (0223) 451-4681. Free entrance.
The inauguration of SEA Museum, in 2013, put Mar del Plata on the map of contemporary art. Facing the sea, in La Perla, it has on its esplanade the already iconic sea lion that Marta Minujín made with a cover of 80 thousand golden wrappers of Havana alfajores.
access free, receives outstanding exhibitions and has a full agenda of educational, musical and film activities, among others. During this summer you can visit “Argentina”, by the Mondongo collective, a sample of 15 works –made with non-traditional materials, some reused, such as threads or plasticine– mounted in an ellipse in room 3; and “Destiny. From the spa to the cosmos”, a BIENALSUR exhibition that takes a critical look at the contemporary tourism industry (touching the environment, social impact, crowds).
How to visit: Av. Félix U. Camet between Concepción Arenal and López de Gomara. From Tuesday to Sunday, entrance at 16, 18 and 20 until capacity is exhausted, in order of arrival. Free entrance.
It is a way of spying on how they lived and spent the summer in the early days of the resort: the Villa Ortiz Basualdo it was projected in 1909 by Luis Dubois and Pablo Pater (who made the Tigre Art Museum, among other works) for a Buenos Aires family that frequented the property during the summers from 1910 to 1970.
Located on a corner of the Stella Maris neighborhood (very close to the Tank Tower), it is picturesque in style and exhibits furniture and objects from that era in its rooms. At the beginning of 2021 it was declared a National Monument.
It has been operating there since 1980. Municipal Museum of Art Juan Carlos Castagnino, which bears his name in homage to the renowned artist from Mar del Plata. The collection brings together works by Argentine artists from different disciplines (Berni, Soldi, Forner, Alongo, Quinquela Martín y Macchi, among many others) and the Castagnino Collection itself, donated by his family, with paintings and drawings, personal objects and photographs. You can also visit the Collection of Mar del Plata Artists, a selection of local activity.
How to visit: Av. Colón 1189. Open Thursday and Friday from 2 to 6 pm and Saturdays from 3 to 7 pm. General admission $150; students, retirees and residents with Cultural DNI, $100.
With its wooden front painted yellow, red roofs and surrounded by gardens, the house triggers a mental journey. Here the writer spent the summer Victoria Ocampo when he came to Mar del Plata. In the English style, it was built in 1912 and he inherited it in the 1920s from his great-aunt and godmother, Francisca Ocampo de Ocampo. Since then, Victoria received her national friends and colleagues and those who came from abroad, just as she did at her residence in San Isidro. Both houses were donated by the writer to UNESCO, agency that put the one in Mar del Plata up for sale; in 1981, the municipality bought it and created the Victoria Ocampo Cultural Center.
During the visit, you can see the original furniture and objects from the essayist’s room; In addition, there are temporary exhibitions, concerts in the park and plays, among other plans. They share the agenda of activities in their profiles of Instagram Y Facebook.
How to visit: Matheu 1851. Open from Wednesday to Monday from 2 to 7 pm. General admission $150, students and retirees $100.
How was Mar del Plata born and grew? What things have changed and what remains the same? To answer these questions you have to pay a visit to Villa Miter, the chalet that houses the Roberto T. Barili Municipal Historical Museum Archive. The neocolonial-style house belonged to Angiolina Astengo de Mitre, widow of the engineer Emilio Miter and daughter-in-law of Bartolomé Mitre.
In Villa Miter there is a photo library –with images on different old media–, a documentary archive (with official and private documents) and a library with material on the history of the area. In addition, different educational and cultural activities are carried out in the museum, which are published in their user profiles. Instagram Y Facebook.
How to visit: Lamadrid 3870. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Tuesday closed. General admission $150, local $100.
In 2019, artist and producer Estefanía Mateo created Singular, a contemporary art gallery in Mar del Plata. The project –which does not have a physical headquarters– makes local talents visible and works for the development of the art market in the city. You can visit their catalog at Buenos Aires Art Market. On Twitter, the profile @FotosFamiliaMdP compiles historical images that residents and visitors of the city share, a way of visually traveling to the past. To understand the complete panorama of the architecture of Mar del Plata –which oscillates between picturesque chalets, stone fronts, Spanish balconies and contemporary works– you can follow the updates of @arqmardelplata and Instagram.