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Stoppel Mansion, much more than a museum

The mansion on Emilio Civit Avenue is full of history and beauty. Walking through its corridors and rooms is an unforgettable experience.

Art and Literature

 The owner of the mansion 

The man who had this mansion built, which shines in the middle of the city, was  Luis Stoppel . Chilean by birth and German descent, had a very active life in Mendoza. Their relationship with our province is divided into two stages: the first from 1885 to 1895 and the second, after living several years in  Buenos Aires  and then in  Europe , from 1912 until his death.

He was a merchant, landowner,  politician and had a high insertion in the social world of Mendoza  in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The commercial activity where it stood out was in a  carriage company. Between 1885 and 1895, Stoppel lived in front of the Cobos square (present-day San Martin square). On his return from Buenos Aires, in 1912, he settled in his new residence, at Sarmiento 1232 (now Av. Emilio Civit). In turn, he also owned a villa in Potrerillos and bought land in different central areas of the city.

As for his political activity, he was vice-consul of Chile, an honorary title product of his close relationship with the transAndean country and Mendoza. He provided asylum and assistance to every Chilean citizen who was in our province.  He was also a city councilor. 

 The mansion 

Experts point out that the house is constitutively involved in the new image of the New City. Luis Stoppel  established his home in the western part of the city , which, at the time, was sparsely populated. It is for this reason that he should have placed the drinking water network. In this area different modern landmarks enter into dialogue: the railway, General San Martín Park, the gates of this same park and Emilio Civit Avenue.

The house was built under the  villa typology, 23 meters in front and 60 meters deep. In turn, the land was made up of 1234 meters covered and 2000 of gardens, where the current Av. Emilio Civit was connected with Calle  Julio A. Roca . The work began around 1910 and opened in 1912.

Through a fence, the public space was divided from the private space, and to the left was the income for carriages and new cars.

The façade

The façade presents two imposing palm trees and vegetation rationally located on both sides of the access path. The two-story mansion is elevated, which gives the building a solemn character. The entrance is framed by two pairs of columns and in turn is advanced over the hall, which is released to the sides, with a curved movement towards the vegetation.

On the upper floor, the same tripartite solution is repeated, but more sober and retracted. Finally, the facade is crowned with an upper cornice with curved modillions, which is continued with the design of the grate, which are completed with two French vases.

It is important to note that the original facade simulates rectangular cuts colored with a pastel pink hue. This color is repeated in the design of the tile of the hall floor. Thus, the facade proposes an eclectic play of styles, where the notion of  “Italian villa” prevails and allows dynamic visual games , between the orthogonality and symmetry of the building and subtle curved movements of forward and reverse over space.

The interior

The interior is established through a nerve center where the ground floor, first floor and roof communicates, from which a powerful light income originates. Around it are established on the ground floor five rooms (possibly higher in their uses) and later another series of rooms.

On the upper floor, which is accessed through a staircase, the same design is repeated, where the rooms are placed around this center.

From the technological point of view, he presented one of the greatest advances in engineering and architectural challenges. The  earthquake of  1861   marks a break in Mendoza's cultural and architectural history, where through the modern urban and architectural program, the reason, to challenge and overcome that heinous Creole past.

This building is made with a concrete bulkhead and reinforced concrete structure. This solution is solved as one of the most innovative proposals in terms of anti-seismic construction.

The Carlos Alonso Museum offers two spaces with very different architectural features. Stoppel Mansion proposes a trip to Mendoza's past, the luxury of yesteryear and the new building, a look into the future, standing in a present, where we can enjoy the immense talent  of our plastic artists .

Source:  Mendoza Culture Press 

Publication Date: 21/11/2019

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