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Abandoned Buildings

The former French embassy.

The former French embassy.

I previously blogged about the abandoned Ducor Hotel, which may be the most magnificent abandoned building in Monrovia, but it is hardly the only one. Given Liberia’s long history of war spanning over two decades, there was substantial destruction to the country’s infrastructure and building stock.

Driving outside of the capital, you see many empty, roofless, crumbling buildings that appear to have once been beautiful houses, now reduced to sad shells of rubble.  Even in downtown Monrovia, which has been rebuilt and enormously improved since the end of the war, a number of buildings remain abandoned and unfit for use.

Not far from our home in Mamba Point is one such building – the former French Embassy.  After the war, a new French Embassy was built in another part of town, Sinkor. But the site of the old French Embassy remains unused and undeveloped, the retro building decaying in the equatorial heat and becoming engulfed in a riot of tropical vegetation.

The guard let us have a peek around and even take home a coconut from one of the trees in the compound.  He told us that a couple of buyers had expressed an interest in buying the property (which is in a prime location), but apparently the French government still owns the plot and doesn’t want to sell it. I often wonder what Monrovia will look like in 10 or 20 years…

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About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.

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