I’m starting an irregular series of posts, The City that Fades Away, about the old, abandoned, crumbling buildings around Buenos Aires. I find these buildings oddly fascinating. It’s likely that most of these buildings will not exist in another decade or two, either collapsing from neglect or demolished for new development. Many are already too far gone to be saved without significant financial investment, which isn’t likely or even feasible. So, as with an interest in documenting the past, here begins an occasional series on the city that fades away.


Chronicles of the City

Imagine the families that once lived in these places that now appear as nothing, apparently meaningless structures, waiting either for an end or a new beginning: the father loosening his tie after a day’s work, the pony-tailed daughter, eleven, brushing the dog’s yellow coat, the pet who shared her secrets with no one, not even her rambunctious little brother who at that moment is launching toy boats down the staircase rapids, while upstairs, in the dim bedroom, the mother stands before the window, staring down the cobblestoned lane, wondering if she had made the right choice years before.

Lives once filled these buildings, like our own homes today, with the same mixture of happiness and sadness that comprises everyone’s journey through this world. Ultimately, it’s not just the architecture but the lives that once flowed among those walls, the lives that have faded away, that we should consider, celebrate, and honor.

The Series

I guess this series really started with last week’s posting of the Middle Eastern style building in La Boca. Then today, in this posting, is a photo of an abandoned building on Bolivar street in Barracas, just a block behind where I live. I took that photo about two years ago but the building is still there, abandoned, looking not that much different.

As I add other items and photos to this series, I’ll update this post with links. An invitation to bloggers (since everyone likes some link love): publish a post with a photo of an abandoned or deteriorating building in Buenos Aires (or wherever you like) and I’ll add a link to your post from this page.