April 9, 2012
0168 BRAZIL (São Paulo) - Palácio Anhangabaú
If the first postcard that I received it from Brazil depicted Monumento às Bandeiras from São Paulo, the second one shows a building from the same city, namely City Hall. Given that the São Paulo isn’t only the largest city in Brazil, but also the largest city in the southern hemisphere and Americas, the world's sixth largest city by population, and the continent’s fastest growing urban center, the mayor of this city is undoubtedly one of the most important in the world.
Built in 1939, this imposing building in an unmistakable Italian fascist-period style was designed by one of Mussolini's official architects, Marcello Piacentini. It was originally named Edifício Matarazzo, after the company that first occupied it, Indústrias Reunidas Francesco Matarazzo. In 1972 the edifice was sold to the Audi Group, but in 1974 it was taken over by Banespa (Banco do Estado de São Paulo - Brazilian regional bank), and in 2004 it was sold to the city government, being renamed Palácio Anhangabaú. According to the deal made with Banespa, the building was given to the city government as part of the debt of 885 million reais (some 466 million dollars) that the extinct CMTC (Companhia Municipal de Transportes Coletivos – City’s Public Transport Company) had with the bank.
Its position over the Viaduto do Chá (Tea Overpass), the bridge connecting Praça do Patriarca (Patriarch Square) with Praça Ramos de Azevedo, makes it even more imposing. Building's style is "simplified neoclassicism", a midway from the neo-classicism of the Novecento Italiano group and the rationalism of the Gruppo 7 of Giuseppe Terragni, Adalberto Libera and others. The exterior is plated entirely with travertine marble brought especially from Italy. In interior was used black granite, and the main hall doors are from rosewood. Former office of Count Francisco Matarazzo Jr., located on the 5th floor and having a beautiful view on Avenida Anhangabaú (Anhangabaú Avenue), is now the mayor's office. At floor 14 (to 80 m above the ground) exist a garden with fruit trees and even a basin with carps.
Behind City Hall you can see Othon Palace Hotel (four stars), one of the most famous hotels in the historic city center, located on the corner of Líbero Badaró Street with Viaduto do Chá and Praça do Patriarca. The hotel, belonging to the Othon network, was closed and offered for sale in late 2008, after 54 years of activity, because of disastrous financial situation.
On the left can be seen also the Unibanco (União de Bancos Brasileiros - Union of Brazilian Banks), located on Avenida Eusébio Matoso. The bank was born in 1924 in Poços de Caldas in the state of Minas Gerais, but in time its headquarters moved to São Paulo, which is Brazil's financial center. Unibanco grew to be the third largest non-government bank in the country, largely due to the 1995 acquisition of Banco Nacional, which went bankrupt alongside other major financial houses during the national banking meltdown of the early years of the Real Plan.
About the stamps
The first two stamps are part of a definitive series which depict drawings by Hector Consani, one of Brazil's prolific artists, representing Profissões (Professions). The stamps was issued in short sets, over several years. I found 7 stamps from this series:
• costureira / dressmaker (0.05 BRL) - it’s on the postcard
• sapateiro / shoe repairman (0.20 BRL) - it's on other postcard
• engraxate / shoeshine man (0.85 BRL)
• pipoqueiro / strawman (0.01 BRL) - it's on other postcard
• manicure / manicurist (1.00 BRL) - it's on other postcard
• barbeiro / barber (0.60 BRL)
• carpinteiro / carpenter) (0.90 BRL)
The third stamp belongs to Cidades Históricas (Historical Cities) series, designed by Luciomar S. de Jesus and issued on 2011. I found 4 stamps of this set, all with the same value (R$ 1,10):
• 300 Anos de Sabará
• 300 Anos de Ouro Preto
• 300 Anos of Mariana
• 400 Anos de Mogi das Cruzes - it’s on the postcard
sender: Karina / kazinhabueno (direct swap)
sent from São Paulo (Brazil), on 13.03.2012