After the Venezuelan banking industry went belly-up in 1994, construction was halted indefinitely, and ownership of the unfinished David Tower reverted to the government. Since then, 2500 squatters have moved into the tower’s lower 28 stories, exchanging long, arduous walks, a lack of guardrails, and DIY sanitation for a place to live. Residents of the David Tower have carved out a unique urban ecosystem – electricity, retail, recreation centres and building security are some of the skyscraper’s amenities. Notes The New York Times:
A beauty salon operates on one floor. On another, an unlicensed dentist applies the brightly coloured braces that are the rage in Caracas street fashion. Almost every floor has a small bodega.
Julieth Tilano, 26, lives inside a small shop on the seventh floor with her husband and in-laws. They sell everything from plantains to Pepsi and Belmont cigarettes. Her husband, Humberto Hidalgo, 23, has a side business in which he charges children from the skyscraper 50 cents per half-hour to play PlayStation games on the four television sets in the family’s living room.
“There’s opportunity in this tower,” said Mr. Hidalgo, who immigrated here last year from Valledupar, Colombia.
For another massive abandoned skyscraper, see the Sathorn Unique in Bangkok, Thailand.
Republished from io9