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Foreigners advise preserving ramshackle apartment building in Ho Chi Minh City

Foreigners advise preserving ramshackle apartment building in Ho Chi Minh City

Tuesday, April 02, 2024, 11:00 GMT+7
Foreigners advise preserving ramshackle apartment building in Ho Chi Minh City
A view of a ramshackle apartment building in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: D.T. / Tuoi Tre

Many foreigners have expressed their thoughts and called for the preservation of a tumbledown apartment building in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City as local authorities are planning to tear it down to ensure the safety of dwellers.

The degraded apartment building is located at 440 Tran Hung Dao Street.

These foreigners left their comments on Tuoi Tre News’ recent story titled ‘Ho Chi Minh City short of funding to demolish dilapidated apartment building,’ recommending the protection of historic buildings rather than destroying them.

“This is architectural heritage,” wrote Facebook user Marc David Biffi.

He also expressed his opinion that it “should be preserved and cherished as we do in Europe.”

Echoing the view, Tony Towtown, hailing from Melbourne, Australia, advised that it should definitely be preserved. 

“Don’t take all the character out of Ho Chi Minh City!” he asserted.

Moreover, Kevin Ferry, an American native, cited an example of the success achieved by Reno in Nevada in preserving its historic resources such as significant buildings, sites, structures, landscapes, and objects that have come to distinguish its character.

Reno’s win-win solution helped preserve architectural heritage and attract tourists, Ferry wrote, adding that “skyscrapers isn't [sic] the way to go - long term.”

“Such a shame it can't be renovated,” Lee Harvey, who comes from London and is working as a teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, left his comment on the planned demolition of the dilapidated building in District 5.

Meanwhile, some other expats expressed their sadness and regrets about the city’s plan to knock down the building, which was constructed before 1975.

Jonathan Neal aired his shock at the scheme to pull down the 440 Tran Hung Dao apartment building.

“Oh no.. I have mixed feelings about them taking this stuff down,” he wrote.

He opined that he would want to live in beautiful old buildings and to see them preserved. 

Undergoing nearly five decades, the building has deteriorated, posing a threat to dwellers, so local authorities decided to relocate them and let the structure bite the dust.

Several signboards have been put in front of the run-down building to warn the residents of its potential collapse.

Nguyen Xuan Trung, vice-chairman of the district, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that due to some obstacles, the district was unable to allocate funds for the dismantling of the apartment building.

“The district is considering suitable methods to compensate the dwellers in the 440 Tran Hung Dao apartment building, which will be converted into the headquarters of the District 5 People’s Committee,” Trung said.

The three-story building was deemed at high risk of collapse, as indicated by the evaluation conducted in 2017.

Following the directive from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the District 5 administration successfully relocated 20 households from the building in March last year in preparation for its demolition.

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Tieu Bac / Tuoi Tre News


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