Agustín Ross Cultural Centre

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Agustín Ross Cultural Centre
Casino Agustín Ross
Agustín Ross Cultural Centre in June 2010.
Agustín Ross Cultural Centre in June 2010.
Alternative namesCasino Agustín Ross Edwards
General information
TypeCasino
Architectural styleSimilar to Grand Trianon
LocationPichilemu, Chile
AddressAv. Agustín Ross, in front of the Ross Park
Completed1905
Inaugurated1906
Renovated2009
OwnerAgustín Ross (until the 1930s)
Pichilemu Municipality (since the 1930s)
Technical details
Floor count3
Design and construction
ArchitectAgustín Ross Edwards

Casino Agustín Ross Edwards (English: Agustín Ross Edwards Casino), now Agustín Ross Cultural Centre, is a historic casino building. It is in Agustín Ross Avenue, in front of Ross Park, in Pichilemu, Chile. The building was built in the late 1800s. In 1906 the first Chilean casino was built there. It was closed in 1932 and converted into a hotel which was open until the 1980s. The building is now Pichilemu's cultural centre.

History[change | change source]

Agustín Ross, circa 1915.
Ross Casino, in 1935.

The casino is named after Agustín Ross Edwards, a Chilean writer, member of parliament, minister and politician. He was part of the powerful family Ross Edwards, which founded the newspaper El Mercurio years earlier.[1] Based on his european experience, Ross bought a place named "La Posada" (English: The Inn) or Petren Fund in 1885. At that time, it was just some barracks with thick walls with a ground of 300 hectares.[2]

The old Ross Casino was constructed in the late 1800s by Ross himself. It contained the first mail and telegraph service and a big store. The building had three floors, and was raised using imported materials.[2] In January 20, 1906,[3] the first Chilean casino was opened in that building.[4][5][6][7][8] The Ross Casino worked until 1932, when the permission was cancelled, allowing just the newly constructed Viña del Mar Casino to work.[9][10] After the closing of the Ross Casino, the building was converted into a hotel was which functioned until the 1980s.[11]

The old casino (1905) and its gardens (1885) are an important part of the city. It was named Historic Monument by the National Monuments Council on February 25, 1988, by the supreme decree N° 100.[4]

Ross was also the administrator of the great Juana Ross de Edwards fortune, the Nancagua Hacienda, near the city of same name.[4] He designed an urban set of high environmental value and landscape, transforming "La Posada" to a hotel (Great Hotel Pichilemu, later Hotel Ross, or Ross Hotel).[12] Ross also built several chalets, terraces, embankments, stone walls, a balcony in front of the beach and several large houses with imported building materials and furniture from France and England. Additionally, he put up a park and a forest of more than 10 hectares.[12] Ross turned Pichilemu into a summer resort town for rich people from Santiago. He, however, could not build a dock for the city, as he had planned.[4]

In 1935, the Ross successors ceded to the Illustrious Municipality of Pichilemu all the Ross constructions (streets, avenues, squares, seven hectares of forests, the park in front of the hotel, the perrons and the terraces) under condition that the municipality hold them for recreation and public access.[4]

The Cultural Centre was severely damaged after the February 2010 Chile earthquake. The library that it hosted was completely destroyed. After the 2010 Pichilemu earthquake, the Cultural Centre suffered structural damage, but Roberto Córdova, Mayor of Pichilemu, said that it was repairable.

References[change | change source]

  1. Matt (2009-04-01). "Pichilemu Puts Valparaiso To Shame". Corrugated City. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Lugares históricos de Pichilemu" (in Spanish). DePichilemu. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
  3. Antonio Saldías González (1990). Pichilemu: Mis fuentes de información (in Spanish). El Promoucae. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Casino (antiguo) de Pichilemu y los Jardínes del Parque Agustin Ross" (in Spanish). National Monuments Council. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  5. M. Vargas Celis (2007-09-21). "Llegó la primavera para el Primer Casino de Juegos de Chile". Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  6. Beatriz Valenzuela (2007-08-22). "Chile: Hoy se inicia recuperación de edificio histórico, casino Ross de Pichilemu". El País. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  7. Chile.com. "Pichilemu" (in Spanish). Chile.com. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  8. "Pichilemu Institute of Language Studies" (PDF). Pichilemu Institute of Language Studies. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  9. Carmen del Río Pereira Blanca Tagle Arduengo (2009). Región de O'Higgins: Breve relación del patrimonio natural y cultural (in Spanish). Pro-O'Higgins.
  10. Ministerio de Obras Públicas de Chile (1998). Monumentos nacionales de Chile, 225 fichas (in Spanish). Santiago: MOP, Consejo de Monumentos Nacionales.
  11. "Don Agustín Ross y su Máxima Creación: Pichilemu". Pichilemu Histórico. 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Charlotte Beech, Jolyon Attwooll, Thomas Kohnstamm, and Andrew Dean Nystrom (2006-05-01). Chile and Easter Island. Footscray, Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781740599979.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)