On a corner of Plaza San Martin in the Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires stands one of its most iconic buildings. The Kavanagh Building was designed in 1934 and built in 1936, and at 394 feet (120 meters) it was for a time the tallest building in Latin America. The story surrounding the origins of the building is just as interested as its distinctive art deco facade.
According to local lore, a wealthy Irishwoman by the name of Corina Kavanagh commissioned the building as a form of revenge. Corina, who was not part of the Buenos Aires aristocracy, fell in love with the son of the prominent Anchorena family. The boy’s parents didn’t approve of their engagement and ended it. In response, Corina had the building put up to obstruct the view of the Anchorena church, at the time the private mausoleum of the Anchorena family, from the family’s mansion.