This morning I woke up thinking many things. Maybe I would finish a blog post on language, or give you a feria report, now that the asparagus, cherries, blueberries and nisperos/loquats are in.
I opened the curtain in the living room and saw white. It’s unseasonably cool out right now, and I thought maybe it was one of those white-out days when my awesome view (seen below in late afternoon) would not be visible due to low-hanging clouds and mist.
But it was the wrong white. The white of smoke, of steam, of water putting out what is now the third fire on the Alameda of a historically significant (and gorgeous) building in several months. Started at night, discovered in the morning. That leaves the facade, but nothing more. Hmmmmm.
Here’s what I saw.
Here’s a street-level view. Note, that used to be a building behind that facade.
To say I am sad is too small of a word. I love this city, and routinely bask in its silly quirks. Yesterday I went to a lovely street fair in Barrio Yungay, ate a felafel (details to follow), discovered a new indie art gallery. Santiago makes me happy on a daily basis, despite garishly painted things that should be left unpainted, or falling-down signs. But this lack of respect for architecture, and dare I say it, suspicious clump of fires feels awful. I opened the door for a friend of mine who came by this morning, crying. Real tears, the kind that collect in the corner near my nose, and try to fall into my mouth.
It smells terrible. And I don’t just mean the smoke that billows in through my window. It is impossible for me to believe that this is a coincidence.
This is my new view. That’s going to take some getting used to.
For more reference see this set I was building on my view of downtown Santiago on Flickr. All photos, both here and on Flickr are all rights reserved. i.e. no stealing.
Click here for more photos of the fire damage at Palacio Aldunate
Ohhh that seems like such a waste. Your view is disrupted and the city has lost something great.
yeah, I’m probably too emotional about “my” buildings, but this is pretty awful. Thanks for popping by, MCtD!
Miserable ‘before and after’ shots. Not a coincidence? Meaning there is the secret hand of speculation at work?
Not quite sure what you mean, but I had actually miscounted, this is the fourth fire of a historical building, though one of them didn’t do much damage. Same side of the street, within 5 blocks of each other, within several months. It seems suspicious to me, though I haven’t heard anyone else say the same. Also, hi Joel!
This sort of thing has happened for many years in Edinburgh. Funny how the beautiful facades seem to survive, but the fires make room for a new office building with built in Cat5 or a new hotel all en-suite. I wonder what Stgo does with its facades?
They build malls, like Espacio M. See: http://www.espaciom.com/ It was built first as a mansion, then was the HQ of a newspaper (El Mercurio), and finally reincarnated (facade only) as a mall. What will they think of next. Thanks for dropping by, Alison, I’m not sure I’ve heard from you before!
tal vez te interese al respecto…
Thanks a million, I’m on it, César!
It’s a beautiful city, too bad it was hit by so many earthquakes and those fires also attack the beautiful old heritage…
Haven’t been to Santiago yet, but I’d love to grab it’s every milliliter with my lens 🙂