In 1924, the City of Buenos Aires allocated 17 hectares to the Navy with a specific goal: to establish a school for petty officers of the Navy. The first construction, inaugurated in 1928, was the building known as Cuatro Columnas (Four Columns) located in the central pavilion. Two more central buildings were built in the 1930s and 1950s: the School of Naval Warfare and the Officers’ Club.
As the years went by, many other constructions were built on these grounds. There are a total of 35 buildings that gave the place a similar feel to that of a small city. The buildings had diverse uses: housing, a shooting range, auto repair and electrical shops, printing presses, laundry rooms, a swimming pool, an infirmary, a bakery, a cafeteria and kitchen, a library, a bar and a chapel.
The students of the Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) entered the academy at the age of 15 as aspiring navy officers. They were able to major on 7 different specializations: sea, electricity, mechanics, artillery, communications, supplies and radar operation.