I walked my neighborhood in Ipanema last week, walking the same streets that I walk for ‘Old Doors’, looking for buildings and such that look abandoned. Nothing striking pop out. I think that in my area of Rio the property values are too high for the down and out buildings to be ignored for long. In Rio, there are so many places that look abandoned but really only the maintenance of the gardens or the building’s exteriors have been forgotten. And the area of Ipanema and Leblon the buildings often look like well dressed gentlemen gone to bad times, collars and cuffs frayed and dirtied but still hanging on to their pride.
Across the street from our apartment there were an apartment building, two very elegant houses and, at the back, a building constructed when all of this became a school. As often happens when the family patriarch died, the 16 heirs commenced to argue about what should be done with the property. Years passed as they fought, 10 that I know of, the property went without care or attention. Moss slid down the sides of the houses, trees grew out of the roof, and from time to time the area was broken into and roof tiles and other valuable construction material disappeared into the night. The buildings should have been listed as historical, but I doubt that that would have saved them. Here they can be labeled of historical value but if the owner (s) chooses not the pay for maintenance there is nothing the government can do (or sill do?)
At the end of 2008 the building complex was cleared. And now at the beginning of 2012 a new building has started to go up. 20 stories high, the upper apartment will have a view of the sea and of the Christ (at who knows what price). This Residence Hotel [the owners can live there or put the apartment up for rent within the hotel] will be upscale to the max. We checked out the model and ask questions….. our apartment is 100 m’ - their mid-building, with no view, 2 bedroom 85m’ will sell for $R2.2 MILLION - who are these people with this kind of money? The heirs have done themselves proud.
Not abandoned for long.