This article presents the preliminary results of an extended research about the élite and visibility during the belle époque in Chile. The palace as an object of social distinction and its impact on the creation of new neighborhoods for the upper class during the second half of the 19th century in Santiago, Chile, has been used as reference point. Starting with the case of the Vergara mansion, built around 1870, architecture is analyzed as a symbolic example of social representation of the élite and their relation with real estate speculation. This gave rise to the sector known as “Alameda sur poniente” (South-West Alameda) and showed urban strategies connected to the physical and symbolic segregation of social groups.
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