Paulista Avenue (Avenida Paulista in Portuguese, Paulista being the gentilic for those born in São Paulo state) is one of the most important avenues in São Paulo, Brazil. The 2.8 kilometre thoroughfare is notable for headquartering a large number of financial and cultural institutions, as well as being home to an extensive shopping area and to Latin America's most comprehensive fine-art museum, MASP.
Since the 1960s, the avenue has been identified as one of the main business centers in the city. Being one of the highest points in São Paulo, it is distinctively clustered with radio and TV stations antennae, such as Gazeta's. The road is served by a subway line and many major bus routes. The avenue, which was inaugurated in December 1891, is generally regarded as the most expensive real estate anywhere in Latin America.
Once a residential neighbourhood thoroughfare flanked by lavishly ornate mansions with Arabesque and European themes of the city's coffee barons and industry entrepreneurs such as the Matarazzo family, the avenue has undergone a massive verticalization from the 1950s on. Neo-Classic, Hindu-style and Middle Eastern architectonic structures were then torn down overnight as a precaution against fiscalization or resistance from the population.
The most important of the ones which still stand to this day is Casa das Rosas, near Praça Osvaldo Cruz in the very beginning of the long avenue. It was turned into a cultural center in the late 1980s. The house has oil/hydraulic heat radiators, a luxury only the millionaire could afford and something that could be of good use on very cold and damp nights and mornings of past São Paulo winters.