We are not fond of using horses or other animals for the amusement of people, but the sad truth is, they are usually better tended to than those used for their labor or food. The chic Hipodromo Argentino de Palermo (Palermo Horse Racing Venue) is a horse racing venue that has been entertaining Buenos Aires' crowds since it opened its doors back in 1876. Boasting a gorgeous 17th century French style, it was built by architect Louis Faure-Dujarric and restored in 1992 by H.A.P.S.A. The updated version keeps close to its roots, and in the new design the old and the new are in complete harmony.
Located in the lush green neighborhood of Palermo, the venue holds a fantastic Beaux-Art tribune that was originally built in 1908 and features an undulating glass facade. With an elegant restaurant inside and a set of marble stairs on the outside, the gorgeous tribune’s eatery gets plenty of natural light for people to spot their favorite horse running along the 1.5 mile track. Reminiscent of the good old days, the venue still maintains many of the beautiful old details, like an old clock and bushy tower complete with a bell to announce the end of the race.
To place bets, people visit a charming restored kiosk while spending time catching up with friends or gossiping about their favorite equine. Within the patio area, marble sculptures and intricately detailed benches add to the classic style of the building and offer a break from stressful betting moments. The Hipodromo Argentino de Palermo hosts indoor and outdoor restaurants, but the most charming one is Cafe La Paris. The little cafe boasts a red canopy and parasols that keeps the hot Argentine sun away.
But modern habits have knocked this magnificent 1876 building into the 21st century, and directly underneath the classy French building one can find a less than chic casino with 3,000 gaming machines accepting guests 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Photo © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat