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article imagePhoto Essay: Old houses of 'Great Britain Avenue' of Valparaíso Special

By Igor I. Solar     Mar 26, 2013 in Travel
Valparaíso. Many graceful buildings and houses from the early 1900s adorn the historic Great Britain Avenue of Valparaiso, Chile. Some of them show the passage of time; but many have been restored and still display their charm and elegance.
Great Britain Avenue (Avenida Gran Bretaña) is one of the main streets in the “Playa Ancha” neighbourhood of Valparaiso. The avenue’s layout dates back to 1875, though its development took place starting in 1900, and especially following the great earthquake that devastated the city in 1906. After the earthquake, many wealthy families chose large empty lots available in Playa Ancha to build elegant houses in European styles using mainly wood, mostly American oak and Douglas fir, imported from the USA.
Large houses were designed by distinguished architects. Among the best known architects of the early 1900’s is Esteban Harrington who adapted the style of Victorian architecture to the topography of Valparaiso, following colonial designs used at the time in cities of the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Harrington also put his signature on many important public buildings in Valparaíso, many of which still exist today, having survived several earthquakes that have ravaged the city in the last century.
During the first half of the 20th Century, Great Britain Avenue was paved with cobblestones which added to its charm and antique look. The cobblestones had come in large numbers to Valparaíso as ballast in Norwegian ships coming for cargo to the Port of Valparaiso.
The following images depict some of the old houses of Great Britain Avenue of Valparaíso.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue  Playa Ancha neighbourhood  Valparaíso  Chile.
Victorian style houses on Great Britain Avenue, Playa Ancha neighbourhood, Valparaíso, Chile.
Related articles on Valparaíso, Chile:
The old port of Valparaíso: ‘The Jewel of the Pacific' (SPECIAL)
The historic earthquake-ridden ‘La Matriz’ Parish of Valparaíso (SPECIAL)
Photo Essay: Explosion of colors at Valparaiso’s Open-Air Museum (SPECIAL)
More about Great Britain Avenue, Victorian Architecture, Valparaiso Chile, Esteban Harrington, Playa Ancha
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