Friday, July 27, 2012

Athens Olympic Games sites, 8 years later

Athens 2004 Olympic Games were considered successful at that time. The Greek organsizers invested about 9 billion Euros (11 billion US dollars), although the exact cost of the Games has not been determined. Most of the sports facilities were built exclusively for the Olympics without any predifined plans for their future use. 

As a result, many of those facilities have been hardly ever used after the Games ended. Even in  sites that are still in use, for example the Athens Olympics Sports Complex (OAKA), many parts have been left without adequeate maintenance. 

Others, such as the Nikaia Weightlifting Hall and  the Helliniko Softball Stadium have been left unused since 2004, awaiting future plans for their fate. 

Note: Many of the following facilities are currently in use. The absense of maintenance/cleanness doesn't necessarily mean the locations are locked or not in use.  

More deserted places in Greece

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Faliro Olympic Complex, Athens.

The Olympic Stadium "Spiros Louis", Athens.


Indoors pools, Olympic Aquatic Center.

Training pitches, Faliro Beach Volleyball Training Center.

Spectator strand. Helliniko Olympic Canoe/Kayak Slalom Center.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Ciudad Real Central Airport, Spain

Ciudad Real Central Airport is an abandoned airport in the south of Ciudad Real, near Madrid. The airport opened in 2009 and cost 1.1 billion Euros. It shut down in April of 2012.

It was intendend to serve both Madrid and the Andaluscian coast, each accessible by AVE high-speed train in 50 minutes. However, due to poor planning and overoptimism, major deficiencies in the early planning stages were overlooked. The airport never had demand from the major airlines, with carriers Nostrum and Vueling announcing routes but terminating them a few months later. The passenger traffic was measured in the low thousands, compared to the anticipated traffic of up to 10 million.

From October of 2011 no airline made use of the airport; it was only used occasionaly by private jets. Spanish financial crisis deteriorated the situation and the airport ceased operation on 13 April 2012.

The 4,000 metre runway has to be continually painted with yellow crosses, so pilots flying over the airport will know they cannot land there.

More deserted places in Spain

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Detroit's Abandoned Houses

100 Abandoned Houses is the name of the latest project of photographer Kevin Bauman. Photographing abandonment in Detroit since the mid 90's, Bauman always found it "amazing, depressing, and perplexing that a once great city could find itself in such great distress, all the while surrounded by such affluence". 

Detroit, a once prosperous industrial city with a population of 2,000,000 during the 50's, has been left with just over 700,000 citizens today, becoming an example of the downfall of American cities. With a huge number of abandoned buildings, among them over 12,000 houses, it has become a favorite location for urban explorers and photographers.

In the 100 Abandoned Houses series, Kevin Bauman is displaying 105 photographs of those abandoned houses of Detroit. 

Here is a collection of photos from the series. More on the website: 100abandonedhouses.com. If interested, you can purchase prints of his work. A portion of the proceeds will go to an organization doing positive work in Detroit, or in other cities around the US.

More deserted places in the United States

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Kingsway Tram Tunnel, London, UK




The Kingsway Tram Tunnel is an abandoned tunnel, built to connect the "North Side" and "South Side" tramway systems in the Holborn area of London. The tunnel was constructed between 1902 and 1905 and it was in operation between 1906-1957. It ran from the junction of Theobalds Road and Southampton Row at its northern end, to the Embankment (in 1908) at its southern end, with underground tram stations at Holborn and Strand. Public service began on 24th February 1906. The first journey took 12 minutes northbound and 10 minutes to return, even allowing for the horse-drawn vehicles also using the roads on the overground part of the route.

In 1929 double-decker trams were introduced after works that raised the roof and deepened the tunnel. During the mid 30's all trams in London started being replaced by "more modern vehicles", mostly trolley-buses and conventional diesel buses. All London trams were finally abandoned on 5th July 1952. 

Over the next 60 years, the tunnel has been mostly left abandoned. Between 8 October and 8 November 2009, the tunnel hosted a site-specific art installation called Chord by artist Conrad Shawcross. A project for a new tram line making use of the tunnel was cancelled in 2008. However, the tunnel was later acquired by Crossrail that is currently using it as a worksite for the construction of a new tunnel directly under the old one. 

More deserted places in the UK

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The northern entrance in 2003


Approaching Holborn station, 2003


Holborn station on the right viewed from the southbound track. The tunnel is used by Camden Council for storage


The exit at the northern end of Holborn station below ground





Thursday, July 5, 2012

Villa Iolas, Athens



Alexander Iolas (1907-1987) was a Greek art gallerist and collector. Born in Alexandria, Egypt to Greek parents, he went to Berlin in 1924 as a pianist. Soon, he moved to Paris to study ballet. There, he socialized with artists such as Jean Cocteau, Giorgio de Chirico, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Rene Magritte and Max Ernst and bought his first works of art.

In 1944 he gave up ballet and got involved in the art world. He opened galleries in New York, Paris, Milan, Madrid and Geneva. In his galleries, he represented artists such as Andy WarholRenĂ© Magritte, Roberto Matta, Ed Ruscha, Jean Tinguely, Joseph Cornell, Yves Klein, Jannis Kounellis, Takis, Victor Brauner, Jules Olitski, and Niki de Saint-Phalle. In fact, he was the one who organized Warhol’s first and last shows (during the artist’s life) in New York. Known primarily for his exclusive representation of the major European Surrealists in the United States- primarily Max Ernst and RenĂ© Magritte - Alexander Iolas helped to form more than one important collection.

Alexander Iolas built between 1951-1972 a 1300 square meter Attica-stylle villa on a 7000 square meter lot in Agia Paraskevi, a suburb of Athens. It was designed and built by the Greek architect Dimitris Pikionis, along with artist Yiannis TsarouhisThere, he started exhibiting his collection, together with ancient Greek and Roman antiquities. 

In his last years, he tried to donate the villa along with his whole collection to the Greek state, the government at that time though denied the deal. Iolas died in 1987 and his villa became property of his heirs who sold it to a real estate developer. The construction plans however, were held up by the Ministry of Culture that marked it as a site of Greek cultural heritage in 1998 and promised to acquire the villa from its owners. Since then, no progress has been made and the property has remained abandoned. The villa nowadays has been heavily vandalized and most of his collection of art works has been stolen or dispersed. A part of the collection had been already donated by Iolas himself to the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art. The only items that remain in the villa today are artefacts too heavy to take away, like roman columns and other marble vanities. 

More deserted places in Greece

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