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2019-07-29

Centro Cultural Kirchner: The CCK, the largest cultural centre in Latin America

Written by James O'Hara
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The Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK) is a cultural centre located in the San Nicolas neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the largest cultural centre in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world.

The CCK was originally built in 1908 for the Argentinian Postal Service, it wasn’t until 2005 when it was renovated into the Centro Cultural Kirchner, which was named after former president of Argentina Néstor Kirchner.

In 1888, there was an increasing need for postal services in Argentina. Before then all post services were operated out of the grounds of the Casa Rosada. In 1884, the two buildings were unified into one to solve the lack of space. It was later decided the post office building be incorporated into Government House. French architect Norbert-Auguste Millart was hired to design and carry out the project of a new post office. Millart’s concept was based on the City Hall Post Office in New York City. Plans were delayed as funds weren’t released until 1905, when the original concept was too small and became obsolete due to the increasing demand for postal services. Millart was hired again in 1908 to carry out the new project, although in 1911 Millart retired from the project due to disagreements with the government authorities. Millart’s main collaborator Jacques Spolsky was appointed to continue the project. After many problems, such as shortage of funds and lack of materials during World War I, the project was finished in September, 1928. During the first term of Argentinian President Juan Perón, he and his wife Eva Perón had their offices at the Buenos Aires Central Post Office. The Eva Perón Foundation also used the building as its headquarters.

President Néstor Kirchner proposed the conversion of the abandoned building and landmark into a cultural centre in June 2005. Renovations took place for the construction of two concert halls and an exhibition gallery for the creation of the Bicentennial Cultural Centre. The Argentine National Symphony Orchestra, founded by Perón in 1948 but homeless for 67 years, has taken up permanent residency at the Kirchner Centre. As many as 10,000 patrons a day visit venues at the Kirchner Centre, and everything is currently free of charge.

 

 

 

 

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