The Palace Barolo is a stunning landmark office building in the Monserrat neighbourhood that hides a number of architectural curiosities.
The building was designed by Italian architect Mario Palanti for the businessman Luigi Barolo with many allegorical architectural references to classical poet Dante Alighieri´s Divine Comedy, including its division into three sections, heaven, hell and purgatory. Palenti also incorporated Indian influences into his design, taking inspiration for the building's dome from Hawa Mahal in Jaipur and Rajarani temple in Bhubaneswar.
Inaugurated in 1923, the building was the tallest in South America until the construction of the Kavanagh building
in 1935. It was also the first reinforced concrete building measuring more than 100m and is topped by a searchlight which originaly was able to communicate with a twin building, the Palacio Salvo, over the other side of the Río de la Plata in Montevideo, Uruguay. In 1923, the light was used to announce to Buenos Aires the result of a world title boxing match between Luis Angel Firpo and Jack Dempsey in New York.
The Buenos Aires City Government undertook a restoration of the building in 2010, which included making the searchlight operational again, for the celebration of Argentina's bicentenary.
A private operator runs guided tours of the building, which include access to the lighthouse for an impressive view of the Avenida de Mayo and the National Congress building. Information here: palaciobarolo.com.ar