Libreria El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Ever catch yourself admiring an old building and dreaming of how it could be converted into something new. Well, I often do and recently while waiting at my doctors office I picked up a copy of National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine and I found the perfect transplant. When you first look at the pictures you ask yourself is it a theater or is it a book store? Then you come to the conclusion that it’s actually both. Located in down town Buenos Aires It’s called Libreria El AteneoGrand Splendid and it is the bookstore to top all book stores.

Could you believe that this historic 1920’s opulent theater was once- scheduled- to- be- demolished? Fortunately, the wrecking ball never touched it for it is now one of the most majestic bookstores in the world. This spectacular bookstore has retained all the glamour of its former life, with its original balconies, painted/domed ceiling, ornate carvings, marble columns and crimson stage curtains. It was also named by the Guardian, a prominent British newspaper, as second in its 2008 list of the World’s Ten Best Bookshops.

I completely fell in love with the idea and the location. Who ever came up with putting these two concepts together deserves a metal, talk about paying homage to an Architectural Wonder and peddling books at the same time. I will never look at a Barnes & Noble the same way again.

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