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Posts Tagged ‘abandoned buildings’

I am, at long last, back in home sweet home Oaxaca. The weather is warm, the garden looks great, and the building at the end of the block that has looked to be on the verge of collapse since I first laid eyes on it thirteen years ago, has had a new paint job — announcing in a very creative way that, despite its dilapidated condition, it is not for sale.

And, don’t just take my word for its neglected and decrepit condition. There is a precaution notice from the city of Oaxaca warning passersby that the building is in a bad state.

All one has to do is peek through one of the broken windows to see there isn’t much there, there.

Located at the corner of Crespo and Matamoros, it is one of the more than five and a half thousand historic structures in the state of Oaxaca listed by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History).

There is currently a building boom going on in the city, especially of upscale hotels, to meet the snowballing tourist demand. I suspect that restrictions and costs related to remodeling these cataloged buildings is why the much-needed renovation to this one hasn’t happened.

However, the owner of this building, whoever she or he may be, has let it be known, in a variety of designs, fonts, colors, and in no uncertain terms, that it is NOT FOR SALE!

The artwork covering the building is quite an improvement. However, I can’t help thinking of one of my grandmother’s sayings, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

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Even leftover decorations from a Día de la Samaritana agua station in front of an abandoned building are beautiful in their own way.

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Seen on García Vigil at the corner of Jesús Carranza.

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Another building in mal estado…

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Another example of hope amidst decay.

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Even if it looks like the world is crumbling around you…

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On Reforma, at the corner of Constitucion in Oaxaca — courtesy of The Positive Affect project.

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… and danger!

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Doorways propped up with 2x4s, yellow caution tape, and continuing aftershocks — this is one of the many buildings in Oaxaca that has me walking on the opposite, even if sunny, side of the street.

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The “buildings in a bad state” in Oaxaca continue to multiply.

crumbling adobe wall with sign "precaución! inmueble en mal estado"

Where some see unsightly decay, others see opportunity…

Crumbling adoble & brick wall with graffiti, "This is a good spot"

including urban artist, SCOM.

Crumbling adobe wall with graffiti creature by SCOM

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3 straw hats on concrete wall

Still life at Matria, Jardín Arterapéutico.

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On this Earth Day, I thought I’d post photos of the Matria, Jardín Arterapéutico project.  These were taken 3 weeks after my previous visit.  Despite 90+° (F) temperatures since the garden was planted, it is thriving and very few plants have been lost.

The key to the garden’s success?  Megan Glore and her team of volunteers are listening to what the plants are telling them and responding accordingly — just as we should all be doing with Mother Earth.

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Do you remember December’s abandoned building that artist Mauricio Cervantes transformed into Hope amidst decay with his El Sueño de Elpis?  Bringing together artists, gardeners, and community members, he is again working his magic at Casa del SXIX.  Honoring sustainability and reuse, Matria, Jardín Arterapéutico is a year-long multidisciplinary installation that will grow and change with the seasons.

Appropriately, on the first day of Spring — the season of rebirth, resurrection, and renewal — I was invited to wander through the site and watch as life was emerging from the decay.

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Primavera, the beginning phase of Matria, Jardín Arterapéutico will be revealed to all on Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 PM.  The building can be found at Murguía 103 (between Macedonio Alcalá and 5 de mayo).

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43 houses at risk of collapse, the October 2012 Noticias headline screamed!  This is up from 23 dangerous old buildings discussed in my July 2011, Old and dangerous post.  The “high degree of deterioration” of properties in the historic district of Oaxaca seems to be an annual topic.

The most recent article came at the end of the 2012 rainy season and the article noted that in the preceding week the walls of two abandoned houses had collapsed due to the softening of building materials.  I’m pretty sure the bottom right photo is of one of those walls.  And 6 months later, it’s still in the same state of disrepair.

Picturesque?  Yes!  Dangerous???  Oh, yes!!!

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It may look like a dilapidated building on the outside, but you never know what lies behind those walls.

Sometimes, when the timing is right the massive iron gates are opened to let the residents pass in or out, one catches a glimpse of a courtyard filled with lush tropical plants, splashes of bright colors, a stone pathway winding its way through a garden, and often a burbling fountain to block the sounds of the city.

Other times, what lies beyond, is nothing more than as advertised! But, beautiful in its own way…

Rubble behind broken window

Closer view of rubble in room beyond

Close-up of the greenery in open space at back of abandoned building

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Viejas peligrosas was the headline of an article in yesterday’s Noticias, chronicling the dangerous old buildings in the 484-block historic center of Oaxaca.  According to the article, 23 properties are at high risk of falling, are magnets for trash disposal, and are sources of disease.

Although en español, I encourage even non Spanish speakers to take a look at the revealing slideshow of some of the more egregious, but highly photogenic, properties at the end of the article.

In addition, I’d like to nominate this building:

Front of dilapidated building

And, what do you think about the roof???

Collapsing tin roof

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