World’s Tallest Slum Building

The Tower of David in Caracas is the third tallest building in the capital city of Venezuela but instead of the banking center it was intended to be, it has instead become a modern day slum. The country’s banking crisis in 1994 and the sudden death of its main investor, David Brillembourg – whom the tower was named after, led to a half-built skyscraper. Together with the housing shortage and the rising number of crime, squatters sought shelter in the abandoned tower in 2007. Today, bricks and wall partitions can be seen separating one family’s furnished living space from another. Of the tower’s 45 floors, only 28 are inhabited with the first 10 floors serving as a parking garage. The tower boasts its own security patrol, a communal electrical grid, and an aqueduct system for water that reaches up to the 22nd floor. However, there are no elevators so water must be carried upstairs in buckets where railings are nonexistent anywhere. Inside the tower, one can find services common to the outside world such as warehouses, stores, salons, day-care centers and even a tattoo parlor. To date, approximately 2500 people pay the $32 a month fee to live in the safe haven that the tower has become.

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Tower of David

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Tower of David

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Lost, then found: Via