El Ateneo voted most beautiful bookstore in the world

There are 12 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rice.

  • Well-deserved accolade. It really IS one of a kind, and a very elegant repurposing of a majestic theater.

  • This building was a former theater-cinema built in 1925, still in classical architectural style. But it was not only a theater, as also has many floors above for residential purposes.

  • I never knew that, Carlos . This information makes the building even more intriguing. What cinema ever had upstairs neighbors?

    In your own country, you have an excellent example: The Auditorium Building of Chicago, designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler in 1890. That is a huge building that contains the Opera theater and offices and apartments. Even in a tower there was installed the office of this firm, where Frank Lloyd Wright, at that time 21 years old, was the chief of 50 draughtsmen.

    Coming back to the BA builiding, please note that the theater (now library) is at the back of the lot. Previously there is a depth of about 35 feet with different rooms ( show of some recent books, the cashier, bathrooms, etc). Above this there are the apartments.

  • I can see that I need a return visit to El Ateneo, to look beyond the beauty and observe the entire structure. Thanks, Carlos , for the interesting information about both El Ateneo and Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, where I have enjoyed many symphonies, plays and ballets while blissfully ignorant about the human drama occurring many floors overhead!


    Here are more views than you’d really want to see, that show some of the beautiful details:


  • Why human drama? It's just people at work and living.

    At least, in Spanish, drama connote grief, fear and danger. Perhaps this is not the case in English.

    The video is excellent.

  • Why human drama? It's just people at work and living.

    At least, in Spanish, drama connote grief, fear and danger. Perhaps this is not the case in English.

    The video is excellent.

    You’re right, Carlos , for English speaking countries, “drama” connotes not only tragedy but the complete gamut of emotions between tragedy and comedy.


    Or, as you properly note, “just people at work and living.”

  • This I noted from my translations. You English speakers use "dramatic" for an extraordinary change, for good or for evil, of a certain fact or process. We Spanish speakers use "dramatic" for only a cruel, evil or painful situation that always end in a bad way.

  • We also use “drama” and “dramatic” much more loosely.

    A child wailing about a lost toy is being dramatic.

    A high school student thrilled about being invited to a party is being dramatic.

    An angry jilted lover who takes a baseball bat to her man’s new Maserati is being dramatic....

  • We also use “drama” and “dramatic” much more loosely.

    A child wailing about a lost toy is being dramatic.

    A high school student thrilled about being invited to a party is being dramatic.

    An angry jilted lover who takes a baseball bat to her man’s new Maserati is being dramatic....

    I see that "dramatic" is an elastic word in English.