National Geographic : 1948 Oct
At Itabira Men and Donkeys Tread Streets Paved with Iron The rocks here are pure hematite, as is Caue Peak near by, where a company is planning to mine 1,500,000 tons of ore annually. When several such streets were torn up to build a model village for mineworkers, the "paving" was shipped abroad with other ore (pages 484, 495). captured the national championship nearly every year since the club was opened! Another entertainment center for Belo Hori zonte is Pampulha. Around a sizable artificial lake a few miles north of town architects have gone modernistic in a big way. With glass and concrete they built a circular Casino and night club; a Yacht Club, which many say looks like two slabs of cheese fastened to gether; and an open dancing pavilion and restaurant. Stairways are passe; you walk up ramps here (page 480). In Belo I gained a quick picture of many assets of Minas Gerais by walking through the Permanent Fair of Exhibits building at the head of Avenida Afonso Pena. There are displayed sample collections of precious and semiprecious stones and the State's amaz ing wealth of minerals. Portrayed, too, are agricultural and livestock resources. Cut gems of topaz, tourmaline, aquamarine, amethyst, and beryls are on display. The directors have placed among the exhibits one gigantic crystal of quartz which weighs more than five tons (page 487). From the top of the tower where weather men send up their balloons, and atop the new 26-story skyscraper near by, I saw one of the best exhibits of modern Minas. Below spreads all Belo Horizonte (page 491). When the designers sketched the plan of Cidade de Minas-to use Belo's original name -they looped a Circular Avenue about the town. Now the thoroughfare might be com pared to an inner-growth ring of a sturdy tree. Residential areas sprawl many blocks beyond it. The founding fathers first envisaged this as a stately, cultural town, replete with schools, colleges, libraries.