Razing of Romania's Past

The industrialization of Romania led to the tripling of its urban population in the three decades prior to 1980, as people moved from the rural villages to fill jobs in the cities. To meet the increased demand for housing, Romania’s communist party launched a program of “systematization” throughout the country, replacing single-story, privately-owned houses with collective multi-story tenement apartments. Within ten years of its implementation in 1974, “systematization” had resulted in the destruction of 85-90% of the traditional buildings and street grid in one town in Transylvania, four towns in the Dobeogea, eleven towns in the Principality of Wallachia, and thirteen towns in the Principality of Modavia, with large-scale demolition underway in an additional thirty-seven towns, and national monuments threatened country-wide. This report includes an extensive series of photographs documenting buildings that have since been destroyed, chronicling the largely ineffective resistance of the Romanian and international preservation community.

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