Port Said residents protest antique building demolition plans

The residents of Port Said have escalated their protest campaign against attempts to demolish one of the important historic buildings of the city, located on al-Gomhoreya Street, within the framework of a series of demolitions planned by the Governorate. The property, located under the number 21 on Gomhoreya Street, was built in 1882.
Walid al-Montasser, the campaign coordiator, said that the building was designed by a French engineer, and that it has an architectural twin in the French capital, Paris. 
The building is registered as a historic site. According to a French researcher, Claudine Piaton, specializing in the architecture of the Mediterranean, the building is a rare architectural combination of wood and stone.
Sherief Rashwan, who lives in the house, has stressed that the site was the only one in al-Efreng district to be targeted by warplanes in 1956, because it was used by the resistance during the war. It includes 6 apartments and 5 shops, he added. 
The property was owned by a British family, before it was nationalized and passed to Misr Insurance Company in the 1960s. Nowadays, it belongs to the state-owned Misr for Real Estate company. A decision to renovate the building was issued in 1992, but it was never implemented, as the company intended to demolish the building, due to its outstanding location, Rashwan said. A decision in this respect was issued in 1998, but it has also not been implemented. 
Following the 2006 Heritage Act, a committee comprising senior consultant engineers and experts has assessed the building and added it to the heritage list, he said.
According to the committee, the building required renovation, but it did not need to be demolished. 
After several years, we were surprised to hear that the company had offered the building in an auction, selling it to an investment company to demolish it, evacuate the residents and build a skyscraper on the site, Rashwan added.

Related Articles

Back to top button