When you are in Buenos Aires or planning to come, then you will probably visit the Obelisco. That big spike in the middle of the city is an icon itself. However, there is a secret near the Obelisco. The villa of 9 de Julio is also known in Spanish as the Chalet 9 de Julio.
What is the villa 9 de Julio?
The chalet is built on top of a 10-high-floor building. You can spot it when you are walking on the streetside of 9 de Julio closest to Plaza de Mayo.
The mythical villa of 9 de Julio is built in 1926 and is older than the Obelisco. Rafael Diaz, a Spanish immigrant, had a dream to build a house in the sky. He loved the style of houses in Mar del Plate, a coastal city in the province of Buenos Aires. He was the owner of Muebleria Diaz. At that time the most popular furniture store in Argentina.
Rafael lived in Banfield and it took some time to travel to work. He decided to build a house close to his work so he could take naps and eat nearby. No better way than a house in the sky on top of a building. A beautiful view of the streets. He saw the construction of the Obelisco happening.
Later on, he started his own radio station on top of the building. Nowadays, it is radio Rivadavia but not broadcasting anymore from that location.
What now with the chalet?
Since his death in 1968, his heirs have been renting the villa as a photo studio and offices. In 2014, the house was declared a Cultural Heritage of the city of Buenos Aires.
When I saw the villa for the first time, I was surprised by a normal-looking house on top of an apartment building. Even I walked by many times without noticing the house high in the sky. And now it’s for me still a secret to tell to everybody.