Florida Street began as a dirt path in the late 16th century. In 1789, it became the first paved avenue in Buenos Aires. During the late 19th century and early 20th century, this area prospered with mansions and shopkeepers catering to the elite. Those grand residences are gone or unrecognizable. A beautiful exception belonged to the Peña-Blaye family. They commissioned Belgium architect Julio Dormal. He designed many of the city’s landmarks including the Palace of Congress. This façade blends French-inspired elements. They include decorative, wrought-iron balconies and graceful arches with accenting motifs. This is now the headquarters of the Argentine Rural Society.