Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I'm a huge fan of Athens, but I am also a huge fan of classical architecture which is something that used to be abundant in Athens back in the early 20th century but which are now sparse. As we all know, the city has been overwhelmed by 1950s-1970s apartment blocks which many, including myself, find very unattractive even though they house the majority of the population! Consequently, buildings of classical architecture are now quite valuable and sought after. In Cyprus for instance we see that areas containing buildings of old architectural style are being renovated because of their desirable appearances, and we are seeing such cases in Athens as well.

It would be nice to have a collection of photos of buildings (not necessarily classical) that people think would look great if renovated! That's why I've opened this thread; to build that collection.

I don't live in Athens so I cannot go and take photos of them, but thanks to Google Street View I can at least somewhat take part! :lol:



This is at 84 Ermou Street (according to Google). I saw it not long ago when I was in Athens and thought it was such a shame that it was in such a bad condition:



Once renovated, the buildings next to it could be demolished and this could be extended to become Monastiraki Hotel! That, or they could turn it into a nice cafe...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
There are hundreds of neoclassical buildings that have to be restored.

However there are hundreds of buildings of all the eras that have to be restored too. We don't have to forget two things. First, neoclassical buildings in Athens are not sparse. They may have represented a 90% of all buildings in the 1910s and today the situation may be different, but there are many neighbourhoods where one can see countless examples of the Greek neoclassicism.

Second, there is no bigger mistake than lightheartedly proposing the demolition of any building in the centre of Athens. Athens is no more an homogeneous neoclassical city as it used to be a century ago and most of the buildings in Athens that are not neoclassical or otherwise classicizing were built during two phases: 30s Modernism and 50–60s Modernism. For anyone who says "I don't like this box" there is another who is willing to write whole essays about its merit.

Moreover, as 1950–60s buildings are more recent, their state of preservation is not as bad as for many 1850–1900s buildings. However, they are neither restored nor perceived as in need for restoration; they just stand there, often vacant, and can't show off the neatness that their modern principles represent.

I really hope Athens is getting out of this 10 year long decay. The Greek crisis never helped of course. There are really hundreds of buildings that have to be restored but they don't necessarily belong to the narrow category of neoclassical buildings.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,826 Posts
I reckon I will be fan of this thread. Useful and interesting subject, for a city like Athens.

Many people , with different interests and different views will speak their mind about the future of past era buildings that are nearly ruins.

I suggest to member Paliopolis that it would be more useful and handheld within SSC structure if the thread title is renamed to

Buildings that should be renovated or demolished

as Athens suffer in lack of "free spaces". Not only our past-heritage is of extraordinary importance but future generations well-being too.

Still if you think that title is the right one, that's fine by me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,909 Posts
I suggest to member Paliopolis that it would be more useful and handheld within SSC structure if the thread title is renamed to

Buildings that should be renovated or demolished
"Buildings to be demolished". Hmmmm....
There are few i have in mind but, on the other hand, what's the criteria for such thing? And how many should be demolished and why? :)
Let's also have in mind, that buildings are not just some boxes standing there alone. Someone owns them. So, this is a project that may not be done or may cost a lot of money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
@Dimboukas

I agree. I'm not suggesting that the city should consist of only neoclassical architecture, although I am a huge fan, for as long as there exists differences in opinion there will be no right or wrong architecture. And of course, I may dislike the 50s-70s apartment blocks, but there is an element of beauty to them as well, although I struggle to appreciate it as much as I do neoclassicism. The purpose of this thread however is to catalog buildings that people think could really benefit from renovation with the hope that someone with an interest and with the appropriate wealth may go about restoring them. The building I highlighted at Monastiraki is shockingly neglected given its location!

@prisma

I think the only criteria in this case, like any art, is opinion. From justifying our opinions we may learn to either appreciate the buildings at hand or appreciate the visions proposed. Ultimately we're simply sharing our visions of how we want Athens to look. I'll rename the title of this thread as suggested by OMEYA since I too have some ideas! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Stupidity is limitless & timeless

*

Don't feel bad - stupidity is not a monopoly of the Greeks. In my home town the old city hall you see here:




was replaced by this in the late sixties:





*
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
293,588 Posts
Unfortunately in recent past we demolished few of most beautiful historic buildings and replaced by concrete (some times ugly) offices. One examble:
Villa Margarita:


today replaced by that:
Στιγμιότυπο οθόνης (1) by christos-greece, on Flickr


The good news is that Athens, still have some nice neo-classical buildings and we must absolutely preserve them, not to be demolished.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
819 Posts
Plaka’s listed status under threat

Conservationists lament new laws loosening restrictions put in place 35 years ago
Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis also added his voice, asking for the regulations to be withdrawn, saying that the measures aimed at ‘overturning fundamental principles of Plaka’s protection regime overnight.’
By Giorgos Lialios

What were the reasons behind the decline of Plaka, the Athens old town, during the 1960s and 1970s? Was it greed, neglect, or just plain stupidity?

The answer is not as straightforward as one might expect, even for those who have spent their whole life in the shadow of the Acropolis. What most do agree on, however, is the reasons that led to the gradual renewal of this historic neighborhood in the decades that followed. It was a series of presidential decrees that helped protect Plaka as a single settlement ensemble. A number of stores were closed down, strict building restrictions were introduced and select buildings were saved from demolition.

However, a new set of measures introduced over the weekend by Greece’s Environment Ministry put the character of this architectural showpiece at risk.

It is worth looking at the history of the legislation. When lawmakers decided in the late 1970s to take action to save Athens’s oldest neighborhood, the signs of decline were already evident. Over the preceding decade, the area had been invaded by the typical tourism businesses of the time: tavernas, discos, a rash of neon signs, pushy tradesmen and annoying taverna staff dressed up like evzones, and of course prostitutes. The first people to abandon the area were its residents.

Dionysis Zivas led a group of experts who hammered out “Plaka, the Old Town of Athens: A Study on Its Present State and Its Future Survival,” on which later legislation was based. “There were 90 clubs operating in Plaka. Half of the residents had left and the only people who stayed there were the ones that could not leave,” he says.

In 1973, Zivas was assigned by the General Directorate of Housing to prepare a survey on the area. The study was submitted in 1974, he now says, and it remained shelved for around two or three years until it was picked up by Stefanos Manos, who was then deputy housing minister. “He invited us over and asked us to put together an action plan to save the area. In January 1979, the plan was put into action.”

The campaign was launched in 1979 and it was groundbreaking, even for present standards. The first decree was to turn Plaka into a pedestrian zone. Further measures addressed specific issues like shop licenses and signs. Plaka was declared a traditional settlement and some 550 buildings were declared “listed.” The most recent decree was issued in 1993.

“Plaka was where the idea of land use was first introduced in Greece,” says Yiannis Michail, vice president of the Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, better known as Elliniki Etairia. “The authorities were determined to enforce the law: Forty-two bars and restaurants were shut down in 1983 alone. In the decades that followed, people gradually returned.”

Legislation left some room for a small number of bars and restaurants. Businesses whose licenses had been issued before 1982 would be exempt from closure, as long as the ownership did not change.

The Environment Ministry first tried to tweak the legislation in 2008 as it passed a package of measures regarding the expansion of businesses and so on. Reactions forced the ministry to withdraw the amendments. However, these were soon to be reintroduced through the back door via the bill for the new Regulatory Plan for Athens. Once again they were withdrawn.

The latest bill, which was voted in Parliament on Saturday, allows owners to transfer their licenses. Reactions forced the ministry to at least withdraw a provision which allowed businesses to expand on different floors of the same building. All amendments have been criticized as being tailored to specific business interests.

Questioned by Kathimerini during the presentation of the bill, Alternate Environment Minister Nikos Tagaras admitted that the City of Athens had not been consulted on the amendments. He added that the ministry could not give an estimate of how many licenses would be affected as no impact study has been carried out.

Criticism also came from the City of Athens. Mayor Giorgos Kaminis asked for the regulations to be withdrawn, saying that the measures aimed at “overturning fundamental principles of Plaka’s protection regime overnight.”

Zivas says the bill is a disaster. “It will simply undo what has been achieved over the past 30 years. In order to serve certain economic interests, we will go back to a new version of what we experienced in the 1970s.”
http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite4_1_28/12/2014_545666
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I think athens has good infrastructure in terms of building sizes etc.. the problem is the exteriors of them. Has anyone considered re-rendering the outside of modern building to look like Neoclassical buildings again
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top