Load 745 tons and what do you get?
January 1, 2017 6:32 PM   Subscribe

It must be startling to look out of your window and see a centuries-old church rolling by. Even more so if you are in communist Romania in the 1980s, where news is state-controlled and everyday items rationed. Between 1982 and 1988 almost a dozen churches, as well as other buildings, were moved hundreds of metres in order to save them from destruction.
posted by ambrosen (3 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Ha. Amazing.

In Bucharest and other cities, Iordăchescu and his colleagues moved a hospital and a bank – and even entire apartment buildings, often with the water and gas lines still attached and the people still inside them. “One building, people inside thought the move would start at 9am so they prepared their luggage, with their papers, valuables, but we started at 6am, so at 9am when they went to leave it had already moved a couple of metres,” says Iordăchescu, showing me an old photograph of himself standing on the balcony of a moving building.

Recently came across the photos of Dani Gherca, so will just leave this here:

Over the course of three years, he intends to document the architecture of the 1970s and '80s in different Romanian cities [...] The project is about his own childhood — his parents moved to Bucharest in the 1970s and he grew up with these buildings — and about the trauma and dynamism of Romania’s (only very recent) urbanisation.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:52 PM on January 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yeah, amazing is right. Good article.
posted by brambleboy at 9:19 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for introducing me to the Calvert Journal, mandolin conspiracy. I think I'll be reading much more of that, and maybe going to exhibitions in their gallery when I'm in London. It looks to me that their focus is fairly politically neutral, so I'm happy to learn from them.

I've not been to Bucharest since I was young and democracy was even younger. I was in the North East of the country last year (Bucovina, mainly) and I was astounded by the amount of building on rural plots. My dad's on a fairly low-key trip to Bucharest in the next few weeks, so maybe I'll go and have a look.
posted by ambrosen at 10:50 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

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