Location: 50, Balcarce. Montserrat.
La Casa Rosada is the seat of the Executive Council of Argentina since 1862 but had several reconstructions so the current building was completed in 1884. Within the same is the office of the President of Argentina.
It is located across from the historic Plaza de Mayo. Its characteristic color is pink by decree of President Sarmiento in 1870 and is considered one of the most emblematic buildings of Buenos Aires. It also houses the Museum of the State House whose entrance is on H. Yrigoyen St., with related objects to presidents of the country. In 1942 it was declared a National Historic Monument.
History of Government House
The grounds where the Pink House stands have been the headquarters of different, successive authorities which have governed the country. Shortly after founding Buenos Aires, Don Juan de Garay ordered an embankment and ditches to be dug in what was to be called “the Real Fortress of St. John of Austria” or “St. Michael Castle”.
Later, in 1595 Governor Fernando de Zárate ordered a walled construction 120 mts. by 120 mts. with a moat and a drawbridge edged by today’s Rivadavia Av., Balcarce Street, Hipolito Yrigoyen Av. and Paseo Colón Av. Close to the cliffs facing the River Plate.
Finally at the beginning of the 18 th. Century a solid fort was built in bricks, which lasted for one and half centuries.
After Independence, the House that had been the residence of Governments and Spanish Viceroys, sheltered without much change the Juntas, Triumvirates, Supreme Directors, Governors of Buenos Aires, and the first President of Argentina, Bernardino Rivadavia.
Abandoned and half in ruins it staged a comeback in 1862 when Bartolome Mitre settled here with his ministers.
His successor, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento decided to beautify the home of the National Executive Power giving it gardens and paintings the façade pink.
The present Government House was built in 1873 when, by decree, it was ordered that the Main Post Office be built at the corner of Balcarce with Hipolito Yrigoyen St.
A few years later President Julio Argentino Roca decided on the construction of Government Palace at the corner of Balcarce and Rivadavia St., a building similar to the Post Office Palace. Both buildings were adjoined in 1886 through a portico which is today the Pink House entrance facing the Plaza.
The Fortress: in 1536 Don Pedro de Mendoza establishes a settlement called Nuestra Señora del Buen Ayre (“Our Lady of Good Air”) at the Riachuelo de los Navíos. In 1580 Don Juan de Garay founds the city in the place destined to the main Plaza, today´s Plaza de Mayo.
In 1594 the Real Fortress of Don Juan Baltasar de Austria is erected. In 1713 this is replaced by a more solid construction with towers, drawbridges and moat. When completed in 1720 it is baptized Saint Michael Castle. In 1820 President Bernardino Rivadavia modifies the Fort and built a neo Classical portico replacing the drawbrigde.
The New Custom House or Taylor’s: It was Designed and built by English architect Eduardo Taylor in 1855 neighbouring the Fort’s back walls and facing the river. It is the first large public building of the young mercantile Buenos Aires.
It functioned for almost forty years and was later demolished down to the first floor to allow for the construction of Puerto Madero. The base of the building remained buried under today’s Plaza Colon.