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Almirante Brown District (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina)

Partido de Almirante Brown

Last modified: 2014-07-14 by francisco gregoric
Keywords: almirante brown | partido de almirante brown | brown (guillermo) |
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[Flag of Almirante Brown District]
image by Ivan Sache, 29 Sep 2012
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About the district

The district of Almirante Brown (often written as Alte. Brown, locally known as Brown; 555,731 inhabitants in 2010; 12,933 ha) is located at the south of Greater Buenos Aires, 54 km of La Plata. The district is made of the towns of Adrogué (28,265 inh.; capital); Burzaco (80,113 inh.), Claypole (41,176 inh.), Don Orione (43,294 inh.), Glew (57,878 inh.), José Mármol (40,612 inh.), Longchamps (47,622 inh.), Malvinas Argentinas (24,132 inh.), Ministro Rivadavia (16,740 inh.), Rafael Calzada (56,419 inh.), San Francisco Solano (28,344 inh.), and San José (44,961 inh.).

Almirante Brown was founded by Esteban Adrogué (1815-1903), a rich merchant from Buenos Aires. A progressivist entrepreneur, Adrogué funded the building of the Alsina bridge over Riachuelo river, as well as the first street lighting and pavement in Buenos Aires. He also owned the first stock exchange in Buenos Aires, the market of La Plata and hotel "Provence".

The epidemics of cholera (1867) and yellow fever (1870-171) prompted the wealthy families to move in summertime from the capital to suburban places served by the Southern Railways. In a fresh and woody environment, Adrogué purchased a plot from the farmer Tomás Paredes and established there his summer residence, leaving the neighbouring village of La Paz (today Lomas de Zamora). The distance from urban centers convinced Adrogué to build a new town, served by a railway station inaugurated on 29 September 1872 on a plot he had offered to the Southern Railways.

Adrogué commissioned the Genovese architect and engineer José Canale (1866-1883) to draft the plan of the new town. Together with his father Nicolás, Canale designed a brand new style of town, characterized by diagonal streets, squares and boulevards, completely different from the traditional Spanish model used to design La Plata and the first of that kind in Argentina. For his work, Canale was warded a silver medal (first prize) at the Continental Exhibition organized in 1882 by the Argentine Industrial Club. Canale designed the school, inaugurated in March 1874, the church, inaugurated on 6 January 1878, and the town hall, inaugurated on 1882. He also designed the church (1860) and the town hall of Lomas de Zamora (1872).

The district of Almirante Brown was established by Provincial Law No. 856 of 30 September 1873, with the support of the Provincial Representative Leandro N. Alem. The name of the district, suggested by Adrogué himself, is a tribute to Admiral ("Almirante") Guillermo Brown (1777-1857), a hero of the Argentine Independence of Irish origin. Adrogué knew and admired the admiral. Captain in the merchant navy when 19 year old, Brown settled in Buenos Aires in 1811. The first Admiral of the Argentine Navy, he seized on 15 March 1814 the island of Martín García from the Royalists. Later on, he fought in the war against Brazil and during the Argentine civil wars.

The town of Adrogué was made the capital of the municipality in 1874, after a vivid dispute with the villagers of Monte Chingolo (today, Ministro Rivadavia). The town, however, remained officially known as Almirante Brown until renamed Adrogué by Provincial Law of 29 December 1998.

The other settlements forming the district were mostly named for the landowners who offered plots to build railway stations, Juan Glew (1865), Francisco Burzaco (1869), Esteban Adrogué (1872), Pedro Claypole (1884) and Rafael Calzada (1909); Ministro Rivadavia and San José were named upon the villager's request while the Western Railways named their station José Mármol.

Adrogué settled on 1 December 1872 in the "Las Delicias" house, transformed in 1873 in a hotel where several celebrities of Buenos Aires stayed in summertime. The lawyer, politician and journalist Carlos Pellegrini (1846-1906), President of the Republic in 1890-1892, was a familiar of the hotel, where he celebrated his silver wedding in spring 1896. The writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) spent several summers of his childhood in the family estate. He describes Adrogué as "a remote and peaceful labyrinth of summer residence surrounded with iron fences, with parks and streets spreading from squares, filled with the omnipresent aroma of eucalyptus." Borges published in 1977 a collection of poem named "Adrogué". The painter Raúl Soldi (1905-1994) decorated in 1956-1976 the St. Ann church of Glew with frescoes "relocating" the saint's life in the town. In 1966, he decorated the cupola of the Colón theater in Buenos Aires; the next year, he painted a fresco in the Annunciation Basilica in Nazareth. He inaugurated in 1985 nearby the chapel the St. Ann Foundation, today the Soldi Foundation, showing 60 of his works. The musician Alejandro Barletta (1925-2008), founder of the first school of bandoneon, stayed in Adrogué from 1970 to his death. Barletta was the first bandoneon player invited in a concert of classic music, directed by André Cluytens in the Champs-Élysées Theater, Paris. He was member of the Paris Group, formed by South American musicians, painters and writers such as Miguel Ángel Asturias (Guatemala) and Alejo Carpentier (Cuba). The cartoonist Caloi (Carlos Loiseau; b. 1948), the creator of "Clemente", has been living in Adrogué since 1967.
Ivan Sache, 29 Sep 2012

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Description of the flag

The flag of Almirante Brown, adopted on 25 September 2012, is a synthesis of some 2,000 proposals (see companion message). The flag is expected to be presented officially on 30 September during the commemoration of the 139th anniversary of the foundation of the district.

The flag is vertically divided celeste blue-white-green. In the middle of the white stripe is placed a blue anchor fouled with a golden germling, set up over a golden paintbrush and quill crossed per saltire. Two arches of six golden stars each are placed above and below the anchor, respectively.

The colours are specified as:

  • Blue: Pantone 2935 M
  • Gold: Pantone 8365 C
  • Green: Pantone 5535 M
The celeste blue and white stripes, to the colours of the national flag, represents the everlasting support of the district to to Federalism. The green stripe recalls the numerous tree species, representing a big ecological value for the region, as well as the vivid hope of the inhabitants of the district. The anchor represents Guillermo Brown, first Admiral of the Argentine Navy, the district's namesake. The germling represents rebirth. The paintbrush and quill identify the district as the "City of Arts and Ideas", emphasized by the inheritance of the painter Raúl Soldi and of the writer Jorge Luis Borges, among other famous people. The twelve stars represent the twelve towns forming the district.
Ivan Sache, 29 Sep 2012

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