Burning Down The House
News from Reykjavík, via Kristín, Audi, and Elise, concerning a fire in a couple of the old buildings in the downtown area. You can see video footage here. Everything changes all the time of course- the disco Pravda had pretty well concealed its history with a nondescript facade- but, all things considered, the old town area is quite small and it has been losing its older structures with some regularity. There have been a least a half-dozen demolished within a kilometer's radius in the seven years since my first visit. These were old houses; a story and a half and often covered in colorful corrugated siding. They were modest and humble, awkward anachronisms persisting in the twenty-first century.
But somehow charming.
What they will be replaced with will determine in great part the future of the Reykjavík City Center. The corner of Austurstræti and Lækjargata is an essential part of a central hub- I hope that due consideration is afforded to the idea of erecting a structure there which reflects both a respect for the past and a sense of imagination for the future.
I'll leave you with this image of a charming fellow that I met a few years ago while poking about in the attic of an antique store that once stood just a block away on Hafnarstræti, now the site of a less-than picturesque parking lot:
He appears to be waving good-bye.