Tour Locations | Downtown São Paulo

  • LOCATION 16 | Downtown São Paulo

    Edifício Martinelli

    The enormous building you're passing on your left is the Martinelli building, standing at 105 meters tall.

    You’ll get a better view of it by walking to the end of this block and looking back on it.

    Once you've had a good look at it, continue walking in the same direction you've been going.

    The Martinelli building is very important to Sao Paulo because, not only was it the city’s first skyscraper, but between 1934 and 1947 it was also the country’s largest. It was even the highest skyscraper in Latin America for a period of time.

    The building was designed and built by Giuseppe Martinelli, an Italian immigrant who arrived in Brazil at the end of the 19th century. The construction of the building began in 1922 and was opened, still incomplete, in 1929 with only 12 floors. Construction continued until it was 30 floors high in 1934. Rumour has it that Martinelli was so irritated by the slow development of the construction work in 1928 when he was supervising the project, that he even began bricklaying himself! This was a trade he'd learnt whilst living in Italy.

    The building had become a symbol and icon for the city, even before its completion in 1934.

    Keep going.

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