Congress Palace of the Argentine Nation
In 1889 President Juárez Celman sent to the National Congress a bill that proposed as a location for a new Legislative Palace the block between the streets Entre Ríos, Combate de los Pozos, Victoria (today Yrigoyen) and Rivadavia, facing the need to assign the Legislative Branch a definitive seat. The choice of the place implied the delineation of a civic axis around Avenida de Mayo, where the Government House and the historic Cabildo would be located, on one hand, and the National Congress, on the other.
The building was built after an international project competition held in 1895, which was won by the Italian architect Víctor Meano. Meano’s project recognized three central ideas as foundations: academicism, eclecticism and classicism. Perhaps its greatest success was the incorporation of an imposing eighty meter high dome, which reinforced the monumentality of the building and its symbolic value.
With the construction of the Congress Palace, the idea of building it a plaza appeared. Thus, on the initiative of Senator Miguel Cané, in 1905 Law 4869 was approved, establishing the creation of the “Plaza del Congreso” on expropriated lands.
In 1906, legislators decided that the imminent legislative period should begin in the new building, which was not yet finished. Thus it was that on May 12, 1906, with the presence of the President of the Nation, José Figueroa Alcorta, the Legislative Palace was inaugurated among iron frameworks and other construction elements, in a room of session still without benches. The Palace was finally completed in 1946, when the marble cladding on the exterior of the building that was left to complete was placed.
On December 28, 1993, decree 2676 of the National Executive Power declared the Congress Palace “National Historical and Artistic Monument”. Among its considerations, the decree establishes that the Congress building constitutes a benchmark of our cultural identity, for which the preservation and physical presence of its historical and aesthetic values are considered necessary.