City Hall starts to spruce up historic center

A new initiative by Athens City Hall aims to revamp several major thoroughfares in the capital’s historic center with a cleanup of buildings on Athinas Street already under way.

Municipal employees have already cleaned the facade of the historic building which accommodates the Varvakeio meat market on Athinas Street, removing graffiti and covering it with a special protective material, City Hall said in a statement. The work on Athinas Street was a type of pilot project for a broader revamp of buildings in the historic center, with Stadiou, Panepistimiou and Ermou streets next in line.

The initiative, which is to be launched officially on August 21 and will run for around three months, foresees cleaning the facades of all buildings on those roads – both privately and publicly owned – as well as the improvement of street lighting and repairing street poles that were intended to discourage parking but have been vandalized.

City Hall used its new online platform to issue an appeal to a range of citizens’ groups to bolster the efforts of municipal workers by joining the initiative.

A much-hyped project to revamp central Athens, notably by pedestrianizing Panepistimiou Street and gentrifying shabby Omonia Square, is to start next summer, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said in June, adding that the works should be complete by late 2016.