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Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 7:49 AM
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Abandoned Skyscrapers in Sao Paulo?

I was browsing the Sao Paulo page at Urban Decay

http://www.urbandecay.ca/

And noticed what looks to be a number of abandoned skyscrapers. The early modernist architecture of these buildings indicate they were built sometime in the 50's or 60's. Im wondering if there's more and what the story is behind them.











I've seen extensive urban decay elsewhere but never on this scale. Urban decay usually follows certain lines on fringe neighborhoods and the established neighborhoods that urban decay infringes on are usually low-rise residential or industrial neighborhoods. I have never seen urban decay of this scale in a Buisness District. It looks like these abandoned skyscrapers once had a hey-day, or atleast thats what it looks like, I would love to know the back story.
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 8:26 AM
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flickr; Thomas Hobbs:












Edificio Sao Vito, on the eastern edge of Sao Paulo's downtown. Abandoned and then invaded by squatters the building is sometimes referred to as a "vertical favela"



I believe this bricked up building is used as a parking garage. Behind it you can see Terminal Dom Pedro II, the main municipal bus terminal east of downtown. This photo is taken from the roof of the Edificio Banespa in downtown Sao Paulo



An unfinished pedestrian overpass from an abandoned public transit project in Sao Paulo



An abandoned construction in the Itaim/Vila Olimpia district of Sao Paulo. I was told that this was to be the headquarters of Eletro Sao Paulo but that construction was scrapped after the company was privatized.

The posh boutique Daslu opened their new store just behind the building, sandwiched between the river and a tiny favela (so very Brasil). The land is quite valuable and at some point I imagine this will turn into skyscraper condos for the city's plutocrats.



Abandoned construction, downtown Sao Paulo



Ohtake Cultural building by architect Ruy Ohtake. The base has a cultural center. The office tower was vacant during 2005 and was this pink, looming thing over my neighborhood. It's more LA than LA.



Street level view of the invasion on Rua Paim in Bela Vista





A very cool-looking 1950s apartment building that has been invaded. I don't know the name of the building but it's on Rua Paim in the Bela Vista neighborhood, near the Frei Caneca shopping mall.



The Minhocão is an elevated freeway running thru downtown. It's ugly, despised and blamed for running down the neighborhood. On Sundays it opens to pedestrians and bikers and has a gritty feel to it.



Pichação style graffiti on a building in Santa Cecilia, taken from the Minhocão.


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Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 8:34 AM
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As alluded to above a number of highrises are overtaken by squatters once they become abandoned.

Prestes Maia is the largest squatter abandoned building.


Wikipedia:
The "Prestes Maia", is by far the largest squatted highrise building on the South American continent. The 468 families, united in the Downtown Roofless Movement (Movimento Sem Teto do Centro or MSTC) of São Paulo, have lived in the 22-storey highrise since 2002. The building had simply been closed down for years and left in deplorable condition, serving as shelter for rats and cockroaches, as is the case of many buildings in downtown São Paulo. The new residents cleaned out tonnes of rubbish and litter (200 trucks to be exact), organized it, expelled drugs and other criminal bosses always there to take advantage, turning it into an exciting and lively human dwelling. It contains a free library, workshops, and hosts autonomous educational, social and cultural activities. in the last few years it has become a major laboratory of experiments in organizing a real human renewal of downtown São Paulo. People of all ages and upbringings, of all Brazilian states and other nationalities, artists, students, work together to create a new understanding of how the city should and can work.

Currently the community is under threat of eviction. With its 468 families, accounting for more than 1600 previously homeless people, including children, elderly and disabled, the building will shortly be returned to its 'lawful' owner, Mr. Hamuche & Co., who in the last 15 years of 'ownership' accumulated a debt in municipal taxes of some 5 million reais (approx. 2.2 million dollars / 2.1 million euros), which is more than the building is worth. This enormous debt, together with long years of abandonment, should well justify (even according to law) a claim for the building to become public property by the local municipality.

On January 27th 2006, representatives of the 486 families met with the police authorities in charge of the forthcoming eviction. During the meeting, it was made clear that the action will take place somewhere between the 15th and 21st of February (an exact date was not given for 'strategic' reasons). The families were advised to leave the precinct before the eviction to avoid unpleasant encounters, and when they asked where they were supposed to go, the answer was: 'to the streets or elsewhere'.

On February 7th, the residents of Prestes Maia’s building staged a street blockade for almost 2 hours to draw attention to their plight.

On February 13/14th, about 200 people had congregated at Prestes Maia anxious for the news and information. They were told that repossession of ownership had been postponed for indeterminate stated period. The residents celebrated and thanked the support of the groups, individuals, lawyers etc, who had helped the campaign.

The fight continues despite the positive victory as there may be further moves to evict in two months time.

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Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Oh man, this is bad!
This is a perfect example of mid 20th century city planning gone mad...

But I think its also clear why these buildings experience such a decay.
If you be honest, all these buildings are damn ugly, and after all these
years which they're standing this of course hasn't improved but gone
worse due to no renovation and maintenance work made...
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 2:17 PM
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Impressionnant.

This shit LOOKS so tall from this angle like 70+ stories...
thank's for showing us the other side... I feel better now I know it's 1/3 the height expected.



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Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 2:24 PM
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 3:43 PM
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to take this off topic, the best example I saw of abandon skyscrapers was in Haiko, China/ (on Hinan Island). A city near 1 mil. and tons of skyscrapers from 15-40 stories that were abandon half completed. I think there was huge investment in the early 90's, and then the market disappeared. I'll look for some pictures....
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2006, 4:18 AM
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The biggest collection of abandond skyscrapers I ever saw was in downtown Detroit. However they were old and obsolete office buildings, not residential.
Why were those buildings abandoned in Sao Paulo? Of course they are not really abandoned if they are full of squaters. Are rents that low there?
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2006, 4:34 AM
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Anybody who has been to SP knows this one very well



There was a very similar building in Curitiba, which was abanonded for 15 years because they discovered that it was too heavy, and the foundations were shifting.

Last year, someone decided that taking off the top 5 center floors fixes the problem, and so theyre finishing the building.

Then:


Now:
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2006, 4:41 AM
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really interesting 'urban renewal' movement over there... they should take over all of the other buildings

and i do not think these buildings are ugly at all
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2006, 4:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryson662001
The biggest collection of abandond skyscrapers I ever saw was in downtown Detroit. However they were old and obsolete office buildings, not residential.
Why were those buildings abandoned in Sao Paulo? Of course they are not really abandoned if they are full of squaters. Are rents that low there?
If rents were low, I'm sure people would be living in affordable housing instead of moving into abandoned skyscrapers. I'm interested in how so many squatters could occupy a space. Im assuming there is no electricity. Water, waste? I wonder how they control crime, I would be afraid to venture into one of these highrises, let alone make it my home.

From the looks of it, Sao Paulo is constructed in a massive Corbusier mentality and layout. This urban decay is the result of an unnatural growth that cannot be supported on its own without the city's continued financial backing.
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2006, 5:04 AM
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While these buildings do have some architectural merit, looking back at this thread I think the underlying cause of urban decay would be better suited in City Discussions. Can a moderator please move this thread and subsequently delete this post.
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2006, 5:15 AM
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Something else to consider....

While in the north east and midwest of North America you'll find newer class-A buildings built and occupied next to older arguably obsolete building, I have found that in the south of North America and in Central America, and what appears to be in South America, there are instances where relatively new buildings stand abandoned where new constructions are taking place nearby. I can't understand this urban development, my question is not so much why class-A space becomes abandoned, but why would they build new class-A space when there is the same space sitting abandoned next door?
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2006, 9:12 PM
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^Very well said.
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Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 1:24 PM
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The usual suspect in this type of "bombed out" urban decay is rent control by the government or municipality and restrictions on eviction. The building owners then cannot afford to maintain the building or pay the property taxes. In some cases it is more profitable to burn the building and collect the insurance than to continue to operate it. These buildings are not "obsolete" because they were built in the 60's and 70's. That is absurd to say.
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Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 4:58 PM
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Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 8:32 PM
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hmmm so these buildings are abandoned? wow. its almost like Pripyat in the Ukraine (city closest to Chernyobl) but with Cars. i think i found a solution to the homeless population in all canadian cities.
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 1:29 PM
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It's strange seeing graffiti that high up.
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 8:46 PM
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^Yeah. How the hell did they reach? It actually looks pretty cool. Like an alien language or something.

They're ugly yet beautiful at the same time.
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 9:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid
^Yeah. How the hell did they reach? It actually looks pretty cool. Like an alien language or something.

They're ugly yet beautiful at the same time.
Man you can tell gang graffiti in any language, it's all the same form...



As for the graffiti artist hitting that high, they have balls. Only place i've seen that type of daredevil graffiti outside NYC.
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