“I congratulate you, you have just solved a mystery that is more than a hundred years old.
The message is run by the architect and conservation specialist Pablo Grigera and has the emotion of who transmits extraordinary news.
On the other side of the phone, Laureano Clavero is not surprised. He had met the famous ghost hotel of South Sea mysteriously disappeared a century ago. The Argentine documentary resident in Barcelona, author of several books of investigation on the Second War, was sure of its finding.
The legend of the tidal wave
“It is the story of a search and a meeting of two people who, by different paths, came to find the missing hotel”, says Grigera about one of the first hotel buildings on the coast of the Province of Buenos Aires, located only 50 kilometers south of Mar del Plata and 15 minutes from Miramar: Hotel Mar del Sud, built in 1888.
This hotel was the first landmark of an urbanization that was not developed for several reasons: because the railway never arrived as it had been projected, by the great crisis of 1890 and by a hostile environment that did not give truce to the pioneers of the time.
The specialists agree that probably the Hotel Mar del Sud is also the first large building built closer to the Argentine sea, just over a hundred meters from the water.
It only worked two seasons and was gradually deteriorating by the abandonment and the blows of the climate, until its trace disappeared completely after the first decade of the XX century. The location of its ruins became a secret that treasured only a few and an inexhaustible source of legends.
“The Hotel Mar del Sud was always a source of controversy among the neighbors,” says Laureano from Barcelona: “There were those who said that it had never existed, those who remembered that it had been scrapped by the inhabitants of the place and those who ensured that it had swallowed the sea, during a night of giant waves. “
The project of the Mar del Sud town did not survive the new century and was truncated forever while, just two miles south, another hotel and another cadastral layout were taking shape between two streams.
The new beach resort Boulevard Atlántico, located tactically between the streams La Tigra and La Carolina, also had a hotel, but of monumental dimensions.
The Hotel Mar del Sud and the Hotel Boulevard Atlántico were contemporary. Their scales and styles were completely different. The first of only one plant, a few meters from the sea and without great pretensions more than its great portico, its arches and its moldings. The second retreat from the beach, without the hassle of the sand, with two large plants, neoclassical style and clear Academic imprint, could be seen for several kilometers around the southeastern end of the Buenos Aires plain.
The mourning for the preference of the vacationers was won by Boulevard Atlántico, not so much for its architecture but for the conditions of the land, which would seal the fate of the first construction, located almost on the beach, lost between the dunes and in the trace of a town that never developed but still exists today in the cadastral nomenclature of the Province of Buenos Aires. Party 33, constituency V, South Sea, a deserted, solitary and paradisiacal place of beautiful beaches that fishermen know as El Remanso.
Suspicions of history through, from the Intendant to the last of the neighbors, to the locality of Atlantic Boulevard all tell you … South Sea.
A fictional town
Those who frequent the seaside resort this summer celebrated 129 years since its foundation prefer not to spread their virtues and maintain their fame in anonymity.They do not refuse to be called South Sea even though the papers are called Boulevard Atlántico and even laugh when some unprepared person confuses it with Mar Azul.
Located in the south of Miramar, the head of the party of General Alvarado in Buenos Aires, there live about 500 people stable and has as an attractive combination of the countryside with the sea and the famous hotel located on the main avenue that is being recycled a little . An inexhaustible source of legends and disputes, everyone dreams that the Boulevard Atlántico will once again receive passengers.
As a small town of large beaches whose magnetism attracts fortune seekers from different latitudes, there are frequent stories of lost shipwrecks on the route to Cabo Corrientes (Mar del Plata), those of the first Jewish pampas who stopped at the hotel before founding the colonies of Entre Rios and, more in time, those of the clandestine arrival of Nazi hierarchies who mysteriously disembarked from German submarines after the Second World War.
The place of discovery
The town also became a notorious fame when a gang of mobsters who had usurped the Boulevard Atlantico hotel had the socialist baker and president of the town’s Cooperativa Eléctrica del Pueblo, Héctor Rubí González, killed on July 28, 1996.
But until now, it has never been possible to document the precise location of the Hotel Mar del Sud, the first hotel construction south of Mar del Plata and also the closest to the sea.
The story of the find, with the confirmation of the specialists after several years of search, has just been published in Spain by Laureano Clavero and Pablo Grigera in the book “Hotel Mar del Sud, a mystery under the sand” (Ediciones Oblicuas, 2018 ).