Plaza Primera Junta: an unknown name for a space in the city
140 years ago, with the enactment of the law declaring Buenos Aires the federal capital of the Argentine Republic, the political process that would culminate in the founding of La Plata in 1882 began.
The provincial government had to move to another city, as several cities of Buenos Aires were studied but none was satisfactory. The then provincial governor, Dr. Dardo Rocha, decided to create a new city.
The municipality of Ensenada met the necessary conditions: it had a port, relative proximity to Buenos Aires, good terrain, a harmonious climate, and the possibility to steer the province’s economy there.
By a decree of May 6, 1881, an international competition was called to display the four main buildings: the Government House, the Legislative Council, the Municipality and the Cathedral.
The name La Plata arose on the initiative of Senator Jose Hernandez, author of Martin Fierro, who built his position on the name of the Viceroy of Río de la Plata, who commanded the region.
It is known that the city has a special design. It is completely square, with a historical axis engraved. The diagonals they intersect with stand out, forming pyramids and previews within their perimeter, with forests and squares every exactly six blocks. Responds to standards of organization, balance and order between the built space and green spaces that act as a joint.
The photo on this page shows a postcard that is no longer in town. It is the present-day Plaza San Martin cake, which had another name and had implications different from those we know today.
In the History Book of the Municipality of La Plata (1998), it was edited by the municipality of La Plata and by the Argentine History Institute of the Faculty of Humanities and Education of the National University of La Plata, under the supervision of Fernando. Enrique Barba in collaboration with Juan Manuel Micheli, Claudio Panella and Alfredo Antonio Trana, narrate what government measures were implemented in our city between 1882 and 1995.
On page 72 of the aforementioned document you can read: “In celebration of the 80th birthday of Bartolome Mitter, on June 7, Avenida 60 named Tucuman was named after him, and for this reason, Avenida 38 was named with the name of the homonymous county. On the same day, it was approved. The decree submitted by Counselor Ferando, in which the names were assigned to the following public places: Plaza “Primera Junta”, at the invitation of the legislature consisting of Streets 7, 6, 50 and 54; Mariano Moreno Square of the mosque or municipality located in Streets 12 and 14 50 and 54; Bernardino Rivadavia Square, Police call between Streets 1, 2, 51 and 53. “
In other words, the space now known as Plaza San Martin did not originally have that name, which is why its design was also different.
In 1901 that square was called Primera Junta and that is why the monument represented all members of that first national government.
Only in 1932, the year the city turned half a century ago, was Plaza San Martin the name given to the green space separating the legislature and the seat of government.
Fernando Barba said of this medium: “When it became Plaza Primera Junta San Martin, the name was changed to Parque San Martín, which became Vucetich, although no one calls it that way.”
As for what happened to the monuments that decorated square one from 7 to 50, no one knows for sure what happened. Some were relocated to other public places and others were lost between transfers and the date itself.