In La Plata, the capital city of the province, Buenos Aires, located in Argentina, one of my favorite buildings is Estacion Del Ferrocarril. The building is another example of La Plata’s grand train stations from the country’s Belle Époque. It replaced the original train station, Pasaje Dardo Rocha, which was damaged by fire at the end of the 19th century and was restored as a cultural center (on occasion, I have danced tango there).
Estacion Del Ferrocarril was built in 1906, in a collaborative effort by United States architect, Louis Newberry Thomas and British architect, Paul Bell Chambers. Blending classical elements with Art Nouveau, the railway station is a splendid example of machine age high-design, and although some of the ornament has been removed, much of it endures. The dome is adorned with maiolica, an Italian tin-glazed pottery, and decorative ironwork by Andrew Handyside of Britannia Iron Works in Derby, England can be observed throughout the roof of the depot. Inside, the corridors are crowned with sculptural tablature.
Locals had warned me that the neighborhood around Ferrocarril was not safe so I abandoned my hope of sketching on site. Instead I wandered through the building to get a feel for the character of the place, and I took a few photos. The material was enough to inspire the painting, Ferrocarril, and I completed the work in the studio.