Tower of David: the World’s Tallest Slum | Via
The Tower of David is an abandoned unfinished skyscraper in the center of Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, that is now home to more than 3,000 squatters, who have turned the 45-story skyscraper into the world’s tallest slum.
Construction of the building, originally called “Centro Financiero Confinanzas” and nicknamed the “Tower of David”, after its developer, David Brillembourg, was started in 1990 and was to become a symbol of Caracas’ bright financial future. It is the third highest skyscraper in the country. But a banking crisis brought those plans to an abrupt halt in 1994. The government took control over the building and construction was never completed. The building has no elevators, no installed electricity or running water, no balcony railing and windows and even walls in many places.
In 2007, a group of squatters took over the building, and it quickly gained notoriety as a hotbed of crime and drugs. Despite this, residents have managed to build a comfortable and self sustaining community complete with basic utility services such as electricity and water that reaches all the way up to the 22nd floor. Lifts being absent, residents can use motorcycles to travel up and down the first 10 floors, but must use the stairs for the remaining levels. Inside the building’s long hallways there are warehouses, clothing stores, beauty parlours, a dentist and day-care centers. Some residents even have cars, parked inside of the building’s parking garage. Some seven hundred families comprising over 3,000 residents live in the tower today.
Fascinating and sort of wonderful.
But this is sad…
What happened mane
Global recession prompted an economic crisis.
No, what caused thus was a wholesale move of ALL of Americas manufacturing base to China. Detroit was a hub of manufacturing of many items that are now made by virtual slave labor in China and sold here at the same price that the items once made in Detroit sold for, so you see the huge profit potential right.
Partly, but Detroit is a unique case.
Detroit is surrounded by the some of the richest zip codes in the entire country. That city is an example of what can happen when our wealthiest turn their backs on their neighbors and ask the poorest communities to shoulder the financial burden of intensive urban infrastructure, cultural community, and re-building, and then lock themselves away in their enclaves of obliviousness. It is an example of self-segregation’s impact.
Detroiters seceded physically and economically from Detroit, and left its core to die. While other cities around the country have rebuilt and grown, Detroit had no funds with which to do that. It was simply starved out.
Regionally, locally, nationally, we are all in the same boat. We can create other Detroits around the country if we choose to do so. Or we can focus on raising the tide.
The condition of Detroit is a cautionary tale of apathy built on selfishness. We can all learn from it.
COURT OF MYSTERIES -SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
There are two reasons to build your house in the dead of night illuminated only by a small lantern and the moon.
Reason one: You are a believer in Eastern mythology and Occult spiritualism building a mysterious and cryptic brick building modeled on a Hindi temple and covered in five-pointed stars and arcane patterns. The light of the moon bathes the structure in unseen power, forging a connection to planes of existence beyond space and time.
Reason two: You are a bricklayer from Pennsylvania working in Santa Cruz in the 1930s and you would rather not deal with inspectors or building permits.
These reasons are not mutually exclusive.
The billboard that could house the homeless
A Slovakian design agency has come up with a small but beautifully designed living space fitted into the triangle created by adjacent billboards. Now they just need funding …
We’ve seen advertising subsidise urban transport infrastructure. Could this be the next step?
I like this.