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Supervisual Ode to The Grand Way: Spain’s Broadway
There is a place in the center of Spain, a center economically and geographically, that forces on passersby the genuine urban commotion of an honest to God, real-life city. There are tall buildings and countless corners of human activity, some preserved under antiquated folds of history, others merely shelters and spaces for citizens and visitors interacting with each other. And Gran Vía is also a practical museum for early 20th century architectural eclecticism, including Plateresque, Neo-Mudéjar, Art Deco, Vienna Secession, Neo-Baroque, Beaux Arts, Churrigueresque, and Eclecticism itself.
It is a place, of course, walked by millions of people throughout modern history, and it is now a place that has successfully continued to showcase varied styles of architecture, made by creative city dwellers who have constructed buildings that reflected the human condition, mood and sensibilities of their times. Now, they are relics of ages past, and some of those relics tap into our collective consciousness, as though we lived in there and then, and it is a particular comfort to have these collections of monuments where we live, because these monuments are deeply meaningful and it would be foolish to conjure something more properly representative of what is it to live in a city.