Displaced places
November 15, 2007 7:00 AM   Subscribe

This house at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn has been replicated around the world to odd architectural effect: Montreal, Sao Paulo, New Jersey, Buenos Aires, Milan, Tel Aviv, and seven other locations. Why? Because it was the home of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. This sort of geographic dislocation is not unique to 770 Eastern Parkway, however, as photographers Andrea Robbins and Max Becher show: German buildings in Namibia, the Old West in Almeria Spain, the last French colony off Newfoundland, the town in Washington that was transformed into Bavaria, and others.
posted by blahblahblah (28 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
They need to come visit Bavaria in Georgia as well.
posted by TedW at 7:23 AM on November 15, 2007

This is astonishingly cool, thanks.
posted by Sk4n at 7:23 AM on November 15, 2007

posted by grouse at 7:24 AM on November 15, 2007

I'll see your Brooklyn rowhouse, and raise you the Parthenon.

Oops, I mean this one. No, wait, that one. Nope, this is the one.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:27 AM on November 15, 2007

In true Montreal style, the front door is nearly on the second floor. Awesome. Also, great post!
posted by GuyZero at 7:30 AM on November 15, 2007

Awesome post blahblahblah, as usual. Fascinating about the Rabbi's house being replicated.

Always found British Colonial architecture in Indian cities both disconcerting and amusing. Here's an example of British country architecture, especially fun when unexpected Indian or other cultural decorations are included. In this case, Indo-British with Scandinavian wood paneling.

Victoria Station in Bombay
posted by nickyskye at 7:44 AM on November 15, 2007

The copy of 770 in Jerusalem is actually one of the only buildings given an exeption to the rule that every buliding must be faced with Jerusalem Stone.
posted by milestogo at 7:44 AM on November 15, 2007

For 2 centuries Dejima, Nagasaki was a little piece of Holland in Japan.
Inspired by that history the japanese built a village with all the greatest Dutch historical architectural hits for around 2.5 billion dollars.
It's disconcerting to see the Domtoren of my hometown there, or the stadhuis of Gouda, or the Nieuwe Kerk of Delft, or Kasteel Nijenrode etc etc. All of them in one place, unlike in the Netherlands...

btw I'm really looking forward to David Mitchells next novel. Apparently the history of Dejima will play a major role in it.
posted by jouke at 7:45 AM on November 15, 2007

There's a little neighborhood outside of Philadelphia that was built in the 1930s to look like Hollywood. Street names are Pasadena Ave., Los Angeles Ave., etc.

Happily the Google Street View van has captured the whole thing. Drive around and enjoy!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:50 AM on November 15, 2007

And then there's the larger Ivory Coast copy of the Vatican Basilic of St Peter.
posted by jouke at 7:50 AM on November 15, 2007

fascinating! What a funny, great idea for a modest building.
posted by JBennett at 7:52 AM on November 15, 2007

Very cool; thanks.
posted by chinston at 7:59 AM on November 15, 2007

Little Paris in China slideshow.
posted by wannalol at 8:07 AM on November 15, 2007

Great post. This one in particular is spooky.
posted by languagehat at 8:13 AM on November 15, 2007

Catholic cathedral in Qingdao, PRC.

Western architecture in Shamian, Guangzhou, PRC.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:22 AM on November 15, 2007

Oh yeah when it's some Rabbi's house getting copied everyone is like "OMG WAU!" But when it's Venice in a Las Vegas people call it obscene.

Screw you guys. Bunch of hypocrites.
posted by public at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2007

Ah, yes, Helen, GA, home of the Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen. Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? Yes, famous for their cooking skills, they were.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:54 AM on November 15, 2007

when it's Venice in a Las Vegas people call it obscene

Those people have never been to the Venetian. It's rad. Plus the maids will fold and arrange the clothes and shoes you leave strewn about the room. It's like having your very own house-elves.

Also, speaking of Vegas, the NYNY is surprisingly awesome to walk through. I wouldn't eat the pizza, of course, but it's certainly a sight to see. I dig this sort of thing (a couple of the pictures in the "Bavarian by Law" link look uncannily like pictures I took this summer in Berchtesgaden).
posted by uncleozzy at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2007

And then there's the larger Ivory Coast copy of the Vatican Basilic of St Peter.

From the link: "The basilica was met with some controversy globally when construction began. The lavishly-built basilica sits in the middle of the African bush in an impoverished city where only a minority of homes have running water and adequate sanitation. The cost of the basilica doubled the national debt of Côte d'Ivoire, but many of the country's Roman Catholics are proud of the church."

I know this is a derail but, damn, we like us some religious buildings, don't we?
posted by Avenger at 9:39 AM on November 15, 2007

I Lubavitch NY.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:04 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

I love Dejima.

There is French colonial architecture to some interesting effect in Laos. (if not more interesting how the government alternately promotes it as a draw for tourism and reviles it as a reminder of its "western imperialist past")
posted by dreamsign at 10:10 AM on November 15, 2007

re: the old west in Almeria, Spain.... There's a Spanish movie named 800 Bullets that takes place in the remnants of the spaghetti western movie sets that were put up in Almeria. Old stuntment who were in the original films take over the ruins to stage their versions of Clint Eastwood-movie stunts. It's a comedy, not a documentary or anything, but it's interesting to see how these movie sets become part of the landscape.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2007

The former Richmond Surgical Hospital on Brunswick Street in north inner city Dublin was built in 1900 by British administrators but was obviously designed for a warmer climate - legend says either Australia or India. It was built on the site of the former Hospital dating from 1803-ish and built on the site of an former "Channel Row" nunnery.
posted by meehawl at 10:44 AM on November 15, 2007

Not nearly as interesting, but my parent's house (in CT) is an exact replica of an old ship captain's house in Northern Maine. I visited it and the current owners were nice enough to let me inside. It was positively bizarre to be in someone else's house that was exactly the same, down to the nails and the size and cut of the floorboards
posted by rollbiz at 11:52 AM on November 15, 2007

Aw c'mon MrMoonPie, Hansel and Gretel made the the best candy... Sweet, witchy candy...

Helen always frightened me a little, things were just slightly off there.
posted by pupdog at 2:09 PM on November 15, 2007

Woohoo, namedropping time! Max and Andrea are friends of mine, and one of the Political Spectrum drawings is mine.

They also did a neat series on Cuban cigar labels and their non-Cuban counterparts.
posted by bink at 5:23 PM on November 15, 2007

welcome to holland, michigan
posted by pyramid termite at 7:25 PM on November 15, 2007

The article describes the 770 house as "neo-Gothic", but it's almost exactly like a house I know that is said to be in the Cotswolds style (it's of a similar age, but in Britain). They are so alike, they could be sisters, if houses had sisters. Further, the style is nothing like Gothic - of any historical architecture, it most reminds me of Elizabethan.

Most of the copies are terrible though - they have the basic features, but all the proportions are so out of whack - the original house is quite elegant looking.
posted by jb at 9:33 AM on November 16, 2007

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