No country for old buildings

This landmark had stood in Clemenceau for at least 75-100 years, local residents said. Here is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago:
At the time it was not clear whether it would be demolished (more photos here) but today half the building was sheared off: 

One of the old ornate balconies: 

Neighbors say it was a residential building. Here’s what’s left of the back side, which once faced the Mediterranean.

 Not even the trees were spared:

I remember reading once that buildings made of sandstone were protected by the government. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here:

Who knows how old these stone walls are?

Some have speculated that the building has been bought by the hospital across the street:

I hope they are better at preserving people than they are at preserving heritage.

It would be a shame if the old windows were not salvaged:

It seems there was an attempt to take up some of the old interior tiles, but entering the building now would probably be too dangerous:

Amazingly, the old glass survived decades of civil war, only to be destroyed during times of peace:

 A taxi driver waiting at the hospital remembers walking by the building with his mother when he was a kid in the 1950s. “It looked old then,” he said. “It was beautiful.”

He also pointed out that there was no cement used to keep the old blocks together. “Back then, they used mud and clay,” he said.

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  1. After the building in Fassouh collapsed around winter 2011, developers managed to have most of the protected ancient heritage status buildings reclassified. This is why, consequently, you’re seeing a lot of these beautiful ancient buildings going down to be replaced by towering characterless blocks of moroseness mushrooming up from wherever developers can get their hands on them.

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