If you are looking for a place to park in Bucharest you might feel like a cyclops with 1 blind eye and trust me it's not you, it's the city and it's lack of space. In a city with 2 million cars and only 200.000 parking spots the struggle is real. Driving in Bucharest is a joy only on some weekends during the summer vacation on national holidays or whenever everyone is away, otherwise it turns into a loud street concert of horns and inventive curses.
Cyclops is a cool name for such a context, especially if it names a possible, long-forgotten, solution. In the heart of Bucharest, on one of the city's largest boulevards, there lays a huge, abandoned multi-storey parking lot. Magheru Boulevard used to be one of the first modern boulevards, designed at the begining of the 20th century to fit the massive traffic that would develop in an European capital city. Developed in a vanguadist manner, mimicking American modernist and art deco design, it was for many years one of the most expensive commercial arteries in the world, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
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Back in the day, in between the two world wars, this part of the city became a fancy place for locals, they had here a modern cinema, a swimming pool with artificial waves and the Cyclops garage to park their precious automobiles. All of them are closed to the public today, and the one the locals would need most would be this amazing parking treasure. Not only that it is huge and closed, but also has a wonderful atrium that lets natural light go through it and illuminate the entire abandoned space. A true gem that many discovered while the doors were still unlocked, which turned it into a graffiti paradise. For a season it was even open for an Art festival, an exhibition of artsy pieces that opened the gates of the building back in 2015. The main reason it got completely shot down is the lack of renovation to the building's structure, which was rated class one of seismic risk. Unfortunately today it's only a locked ruin waiting for people to invest in it, if not money, at least attention. It has become so easy to ignore a cyclops these days...
Nowadays, similar to the greek legendary one eyed monsters, the Cyclops monster of Bucharest is missing something on the facade, a couple of letters from it's glourious name. The 6 storage building is passed by millions of cars, welcoming none inside. Not even people are allowed to check it out and go up the forgotten levels to admire the brightly colored streetart. Since I was lucky enought to go inside on a radom sunny day, I thought of sharing a bit of the Cyclop's inside secrets through some pictures>>
If you want to get involved in the business and think you would do a great job renovating and reopening the friendly cyclops again, you should know such a mythical giant is no cheap business. The price of the building has been approximated somewhere around 18 million euros last year. The price includes an extra building, located right next to it. Bear in mind that at the year of construction, in 1928, the Cyclops was the first building in Europe designed with an antiseismic system on rollers, this might still be a guarantee of its robustness. Just like a retired athlete, this 90 year old construction sits on well prepared ground, rolling in the deep.
It would be a pitty to sum up this article without mentioning the mastermind behind this amazing forgotten construction. Behind every giant lays an inspired mind, and his name was Dumitru Marinescu Bragadiru, the second wealthiest man in Romania at that time. He earned his wealth by selling alcohol to soldiers and hospitals during the war of independence (1877) then he started a beer factory close to Bucharest, which is also closed today. Bragadiru remained a heavy name for the heritage of the country; drinkers, patients and the great public should remember his entrepreneurial spirit and spirits get some inspiration to rebuild the forgotten potential pf the city!