Omonoia Square -- the most known, talked about, depicted, used and abused public space of Greece - SkyscraperCity
 

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Old June 14th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #1
Thalassa
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Omonoia Square -- the most known, talked about, depicted, used and abused public space of Greece

Will be updating it at a later date. Thank you.

Last edited by Thalassa; June 2nd, 2017 at 07:20 AM. Reason: Will be updating it at a later date.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #2
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An EXCELLENT presentation of the history of the particular square and the transformations it went though time.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #3
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Interesting presentation of the square but there is one picture from Monastiraki square and one from the Kotzia square that you have to change.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #4
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Great thread! I can't say i like the square. I prefer its underground life
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Old June 14th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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Very interesting indeed. I never realised that the Running glass-sheets statue was originally in Omonoia Square. Unless that's another different installation?
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Old June 14th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #6
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Thank you guys!

Systema, thanks for catching that.

Xiote, yes, it is the same sculpture. It is also called "Dromeas". It was moved near the Hilton Hotel. The artist, Costas Varotsos, was born in 1955 in Athens. He is a "son of Athens". When it was first introduced in Omonoia Square, people were calling it "The Thing". But now it's considered one of the prominent pieces of modern art.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #7
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I passed though Omonoia square yesterday,and i was a bit ehm,dissapointed by the state of the square itself and the surrounding areas,nevertheless excellent presentation Thalassa,thank you.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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(Borrowing this photo from EngineerGreece)... this is also by Costas Varotsos


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Old June 14th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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Southern, personally I feel there were so many fine examples of public spaces to "borrow" from. What may look functional on a rendering can fail in real life. I feel that the material used combined with the hot Athens sun was one of the worst decisions made. Along with not addressing the problems of the undesirables in the area and inept and corrupt politicians (like there is a honest politician!)

I live in New York and even that photo of the men congregating on the bench would scare me.

In New York City, Byrant Park on 42nd Street used to be called "Neddle Park" in the 1980s because of all the heroin addicts that made the park their home. In the 1990s, the park was completely redone, cafes were introduced, and events were held to invite the general public to the square. That way, no ONE type of people could have "claimed" the square as their own and "scare off" others. Like Omonoia, it also has a crossworlds of subways tracks and stations.

What if, what if, what if we can have a do-over? Maybe in another 50 years. Oh well.....
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Old June 14th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #10
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The centre of Athens is slowly being taken over by the "undesirables", while its Mayor and other officials plan their retreat from it or have already retreated. I doubt they have a serious plan about the square.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 04:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ares_K View Post
The centre of Athens is slowly being taken over by the "undesirables", while its Mayor and other officials plan their retreat from it or have already retreated. I doubt they have a serious plan about the square.
That's how large swaths of Manhattan used to be up until the late 1980's. Then neighborhoods started coming back and gentrified into every area in downtown Manhattan. Now NYC is the largest and SAFEST US city. Trust me these areas were places where you didn't want to step foot in. There is no reason why it can't happen in Athens either.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalassa View Post
(Borrowing this photo from EngineerGreece)... this is also by Costas Varotsos


Thanks for clarifying that for me Thalassa. I really like Varotsos works, they look highly original. Believe it or not many visitors actually look for that Dromeas installation in Athens, which has become a recognised modern attraction of the city.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluedome View Post
That's how large swaths of Manhattan used to be up until the late 1980's. Then neighborhoods started coming back and gentrified into every area in downtown Manhattan. Now NYC is the largest and SAFEST US city. Trust me these areas were places where you didn't want to step foot in. There is no reason why it can't happen in Athens either.
Homicides per 100,000
Athens 1.10
New York City 7.2

You have to keep in mind that when people in Europe whine about criminality, the levels they are whining about are usually what in US would be considered as exceptionally good.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #14
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those stats are old. It's no secret that over recent times Athens has seen a a sharp rise in crime, including violent crime and homicide.

Extra police to fight violent crime
Police are alarmed by the rise in violent crime in Athens, particularly in the city center, during the last two months and are making an effort to put 500 more officers on patrol in a bid to ensure citizens’ safety.

There have been 10 robberies in the last month in Athens that have led to victims being killed or injured. This week alone, a 30-year-old man was killed in a raid on a gift shop in Patissia. A few days earlier, a 35-year-old employee at a tailor’s shop in the same area was seriously injured after being shot in the head by robbers, while on Saturday the owner of a shop in Omonia was shot by robbers after refusing to hand over his takings.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w...10/2008_101704

The problem has gotten so bad and out of control that Greek officials have pleaded for help from England.

Scotland Yard called in
British experts in Athens this week to help combat resurgent terrorism, crime wave
Counter-terrorism experts from Britain’s Scotland Yard, who helped Greek authorities break up the left-wing militant group November 17 in 2003, are due back in Athens today to advise their Greek counterparts on how to tackle an emerging terror threat and burgeoning crime in the capital, it has emerged.

Sources have told Kathimerini that the appeal to Scotland Yard was made by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis last week following an upsurge in domestic terrorist attacks and street violence.

The British delegation is expected to provide advice on restructuring Greece’s counter-terrorism unit and to recommend tactics for curbing the spiralling lawlessness that has taken over the capital since the police killing of a teenager in central Exarchia last December.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4Dcgi/4D...03/2009_105545

Once upon a time Greece could say that it may not be as rich as other countries but it's hospitable and safe. Well it may still not be as rich, but unfortunately on top of that it's not as safe either anymore. Sad but true.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #15
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These stats are from 2007. Not old at all.

Last edited by Ares_K; June 15th, 2009 at 11:31 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #16
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And those news articles are from late 2008, so yes those stats are old. And please call me xiote.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #17
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The world fell apart within one year then.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #18
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lol, the iron curtain fell in a shorter time. I'm sure you must be aware that things have gotten worse.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalassa View Post
Omonoia Square -- the most known, talked about, depicted, used and abused public space of Greece




image hosted on flickr

Omonoia Square - Early 20th Century
Τhis is not from the early 20th century, it is sometime around 1940-1950. In the 1930's when the metro station was built, they had to have some kind of ventilation. The solution was brilliant: they set up statued of the muses standing agianst a column-like structure, one of which was hollow and acted as a ventilation chimney, too! The bases of the statues were kiosks.
The aesthetics of the statues were too "1930's" for the neoclassical tastes of the Athenians (it was before the people from the mountains came to Athens, Athenians actually DID have tastes! ). So they were quickly removed, resulting in this image. The kiosks are still there in this photo.

There is still a memory of the "ugly" muses, but we have to remember that the monument to the unknown soldier, the Army Shared Funds building (City Link) and other structures of that same time were received in the same hostile way. If the whole design had been left alone, I am sure it would be regarded as a landmark of art deco architecture today...even the small lamps in the staircases leading to the underground were brilliant (can be seen in the railroad museum)...sadly, this monumental art deco look is gone forever
Here is Omonoia in the mid-1930s...
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #20
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AAL, Thanks for the correction. For me that photo was difficult to judge because of the lack of cars to pinpoint a model year (or ten). I have corrected it.
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