La librería Ateneo Grand Splendid fue elegida como la más linda del mundo

“Ésta es la librería más linda del mundo”, dice el título que publica la famosa e internacional revista National Geographic.

Continúa, “la iluminación es suave, con acentos que muestran lo mejor de la artesanía de principios del siglo XX. Las conversaciones son silenciosas, como en una gran biblioteca; sin embargo el espacio es tan cálido y acogedor que el café, en la parte de atrás de la sala cavernosa, está lleno de clientes que leen y beben capuchinos y submarinos de chocolate. Usted ha entrado a la librería Ateneo Grand Splendid”. Situada en Santa Fe y Callao la librería, dice el artículo “frecuentemente es citada en los blogs como la más linda del mundo”. Y, agrega, Brian Clark Howard, el redactor, “pueden no estar equivocados”.

El artículo del National Geographic cuenta que el edificio fue inaugurado en 1919 como teatro. Por allí pasaron cantantes como Roberto Firpo (que le dedicó un tango) y hasta Carlos Gardel.

Hace algo más de un mes, durante la reunión del G-20 allí fue el mandatario francés Emmanuel Macron a reunirse con escritores y hacer honor a la tradición literaria argentina. El escenario era ideal.

Allí, también, se hacen innumerables presentaciones de libros. La visitaron Rosa Montero y José Saramago entre muchos otros escritores.

“El café– sueña el redactor- está ubicado en lo que fue el escenario, así que uno puede imaginar su nombre escrito en neón mientras se sumerge en la pastelería”.

El National Geographic aconseja a los viajeros visitar el lugar y señala “los magníficos frescos en el techo y el estilo latino”. La cúpula fue realizada por Nazareno Orlandi en 1919, como una celebración de la paz, tras la Primera Guerra Mundial. El frente tiene una marquesina de estilo griego con cariátides que sostienen los balcones de granito gris, hombres agobiados por el peso.

Fue sede de Radio Splendid y de la discográfica El Nacional Odeón a partir 1926. Salvo el período 1964-1973, cuando volvió a ser teatro, se convirtió en uno de los cines más importantes de la Ciudad y, tal vez, el más bello. Lleno de historias y mística, logró resistir varias crisis pero no pudo competir con las grandes cadenas y cerró en 2000, con futuro incierto. Pero sólo unos meses más  tarde la cadena El Ateneo decidió instalar allí la librería más grande de América latina: 2.000 metros cuadrados.

La librería abrió, como tal, en diciembre de 2000. Para transformar el antiguo teatro (y cine) hubo que nivelar el suelo y restaurar la cúpula. Los numerosos palcos fueron usados para instalar salitas de lectura con sillones y mesas. El agregado moderno fueron dos escaleras mecánicas hacia el subsuelo.

Allí donde antes se ubicaban los camarines se ubicó el sector de literatura infantil.

Cabe destacar que en la actualidad la librería Ateneo Grand Splendid es visitada de lunes a jueves por 2.000 turistas extranjeros, cifra que se eleva a 3.000 los fines de semana, lo que la constituye como uno de los íconos de la ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Fuente: Parabuenosaires.


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