Tremendous Pietermaai Transformation
Thanks to diligent efforts by government foundation, local business people, and determined residents, the once crumbling and derelict neighborhood of Pietermaai- a past denizen for drug dealers and shady characters- is fast becoming transformed into the most exciting, colorful, and creative district on the island. So let’s take a look at what’s happening in this trendy new neighborhood. It’s an amazing metamorphosis!
If the crumbing walls and rubbly ruins of so many ancient structures could talk, I am sure they would say that this recent rebuilding of the community is not so much a gentrification but more of a long awaited rebirth. These streets were meant to host artistic types, music was meant to waft down the narrow alleyways, and laughter and the tinkle of glasses set against the roar of a restless sea crashing upon the rocks was always meant to be its soundtrack. That’s because this was once the island’s entertainment district replete with a theater, and it hosted a close-knit and eclectic community of those who yearned to live free of the confines of an overcrowded and walled city. And once the walls came down, Pietermaai grew to extend from Punda right down to what is now the Avila Hotel. But in the 30s, people of means began moving to more suburban areas of the island, and eventually this neighborhood emptied out and the buildings were left to decay.
Though the government restored a few monumental buildings, it wasn’t until 2000 that plans to really rejuvenate the region came into play. And today, ... (clickhere for the full article).
By Susan Campbell for Nights Publication