Construction projects spell culture in Athens

A string of construction projects are set to get moving this fall in the city of Athens.

Some have only just received the green light from the authorities while others are approaching completion in various downtown areas. From Patission Street to Omonia Square and from Panepistimiou Street to Academias and Vassilissis Sofias Avenue, there is a breath of fresh air amid the general feeling of complete stagnation. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture?s Acropolis Restoration Service is continuing its work on the ancient citadel.

Situated on the intersection of Patission and Averoff streets, the dilapidated Acropol Pallas, a former hotel and currently the property of the Ministry of Culture which had been at the center of a litigation case, is now entering a new chapter. The file has reached the Court of Audit and a contract is expected to be signed with a contractor in early October in order for work to start operating on the site in November.

One of the city?s landmark architectural works, the Acropol Pallas, built in 1926-28, was designed by Sotiris Magiasis and features art deco and art nouveau elements. It is hoped that the refurbishment of the former hotel will also have a positive impact on the broader area, including that surrounding the nearby National Archaeological Museum.

The completion of restoration work on Aghios Constantinos Church is expected to have a similar effect on the southern side of Omonia Square. An impressive neoclassical construction and exemplary work of 19th-century religious architecture, the church was designed by Lysandros Kaftantzoglou and built circa 1871. A contract is expected to be signed by the end of September while work is expected to commence in February, 2013.

Located at 6 Mavromichali Street, the Ziller-Loverdos Mansion (the former residence of Saxon architect Ernst Ziller that later became the home of banker Dionysios Loverdos?s art collection), which dates to the early 1880s, is slated to become an annex of the Byzantine and Christian Museum. The tender process is scheduled for mid-September while the project is based on the idea of the building eventually housing the museum?s post-Byzantine collection, donated to the state by Loverdos?s heirs in 1979.

Restoration work is also being carried out on Panepistimiou Street, where a contract expected to be signed on October 5 will signal the refurbishment of yet another landmark Athenian building, the Rex Theater, designed by L. Bonis

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.