Tours and Activities:
The City's MuseumPablo EtcheversPablo Etchevers
Time-travelling. These are the words to provide a quick description of it. Marbles, trains, toy soldiers, didactic games and even the famous Billiken magazines are part of the inventory. A journey to the days of childhood to poke about a trunk full of memories without haste or challenge
The History of the Institution
The City Museum, created in 1968, has had its venue at 412 Alsina Street since 1973.
In addition to this building, the City Museum is formed by: the House of Cherubs (219 Defensa Street), the Elorriaga Heights (417/21 Alsina Street and 185/187 Defensa Street), María Josefa Azcurra's House (455/63 Alsina Street) and Farmacia de la Estrella (Estrella Drugstore) (on the corner of Alsina and Defensa).
The Ezcurra and Elorriaga houses are the two only examples of dwellings from the early XIX century in the city, which are being restored at present. The venue of Farmacia de la Estrella maintains its decoration and furniture, just like when it was built, back in 1900.
The collections of the City Museum are quite heterogeneous: they treasure from a button or a postcard to elements of architecture, furniture, tiles, window bars, mates and the most diverse elements of daily use in Buenos Aires. The most important collections include bottles, advertising items, architectural elements, photographs, domestic tools, toys, etc.
Today, the City Museum develops a sustained cultural action through its temporary exhibitions and the permanent display of its patrimony, as well as through guided tours, lectures, publications and its library, constantly visited by students from elementary and secondary schools.
The City Museum rooms corresponding to the House of Cherubs include: toys, an art-noveau bedroom and a studio decorated with furniture from 1910 and 1915, on the first floor; the second floor includes: an art-déco bedroom which would belong to aviator Myriam Stefford, a room containing phonographs, record players, gramophones and radio phonographs, and a dining-room from 1950. In the venue of 412 Alsina Street, exhibitions are temporary and change every two months.
The Market, Another Way to See Buenos Aires
The Buenos Aires City Museum organizes several market fairs all through the year.
Architect José Maria Peña was its creator, back in 1970, when the rumors of the arrival of modernism and of the abandoned neighborhood of San Telmo coming to an end seemed to materialize. It was then that, publishing an ad in the newspapers, he requested for stall tenders who wished to sell their antiques. And thus the market was born. Today, it is, beyond any doubt, one of the typical attractions of San Telmo and, of course, of Buenos Aires.
Today and since a few years ago, he has been the Director of the City Museum. The traditional San Pedro Telmo Market, market of antiques and old things, organized every Sunday from 10am to 5pm at Dorrego Square, depends on him.
Every first Sunday in the month, the “Collector's Day” is celebrated at Dorrego Square and once a year, when it is the market's anniversary, a fancy dress party in which all stall tenders and visitors, with no excuse, must wear a disguise is held. A real explosion of color, as everybody becomes a different person behind a mask.
Furthermore, the Book Fair is held on Saturday, March 3rd; the April Fair is held on every Saturday in April; the Iron Fair is held on the third Saturday of June; and the Clothes Fair is held on the third Saturday in September. And every Friday, at the San Francisco Square (Alsina and Defensa) from 12pm to 5pm, the Art Fair is presented.
The Buenos Aires Week is celebrated on the day of the patron Saint of the City, Saint Martin of Tours, on November 11th. Stalls present various objects just like it used to be done at the beginning of the century, when the city was begining to raise.
Also, the Gathering of the Porteños and their Live Pets, with special degrees, is held. The City Museum grants degrees to the Live Testimony of the Citizenship Memory and it bestows a distinction on the buildings of the city that maintain their original features or are being restored at present.
A Museum for Everybody
With fairs and museums, present and past, the City Museum presents a time machine for everybody to use every day in the year and its clock is only used to count visitors.
Because Buenos Aires is like that, old and new at the same time, cyclical like the porteños, like the Argentinian. There is everything for everybody.
Maybe that is the reason why, whenever one enters some of the museums or fairs, everything becomes weird, sometimes hard to explain. Simply because everything happens in the plural.