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After Demolition Begins, City Officials Order Renovation of Century-Old Villa

After its owner caught the public's attention by demolishing portions of the building, one of Saigon’s few remaining century-old villas might finally get the renovation it deserves.

Last month, demolition began on the European-style villa at 237 No Trang Long in Binh Thanh District. In an interview with Tuoi Tre, the villa's owner, Sau, said he had spent 10 months trying to seek permission from local authorities to demolish the building without success. Afraid that the villa might collapse during the upcoming rainy season, he eventually hired workers to expedite the demolition.

However, as soon as the teardown started, Binh Thanh officials took notice and immediately put a stop to the process as the villa hadn’t been assessed by the city.

Following the incident, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Van Khoa recently ordered the city’s Department of Construction to come up with a set of proper renovation guidelines to prevent similar instances of illegal demolition, reports VietnamNet.

According to Nguoi Lao Dong, after preliminary assessment the No Trang Long estate is now classified as a Class 1 villa, which denotes buildings with cultural, historical and architectural value. These villas can be renovated but cannot otherwise be altered.

Regarding the fate of the age-old villa, Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Urban Planning and Architecture Truong Trung Kien told Nguoi Lao Dong: “The renovation and reparation [of the building] have received a lot of attention from conservationist experts. Therefore, if necessary, [the department] will consult the opinion of specialists in conservation.” 

[Photo via Zing]

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