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Retirement Home For Houses: And Something About Swastikas.

Retirement Home For Houses: And Something About Swastikas.

Valur Grettisson
Words by

Published September 8, 2017

The house at Þingholtsstræti 9 wasn’t removed because someone sprayed a swastika on it, although that is what you were thinking, right? No, dummy, the house was removed because of age discrimination. It was concerned way too old and way too useless to be a part of single block in downtown Reykjavík. This was thought to be a serious issue at the time. As you can see, the police was present at this removal.

As is the case with old people who can’t keep up with the snowflake millennials and the complicated anxiety cases of the X generation, the house was put in a retirement home. It probably sounds surprising—and perhaps oddly thoughtful—but we do have a retirement home for houses. It’s called Árbæjarsafn and it’s pretty much where houses goes to die, and all the families in Reykjavík get the chance to witness it. And perhaps they can learn a thing or two about Iceland’s history at the same time, although they rarely do.

The house was removed 1969 but the empty space wasn’t reused until 2010, when Reykjavíkurborg, the very same that sentenced the old house to Árbæjarsafnið, decided to put up a lovely square in the name of the feminist, Bríet Bjarnhéðinsdóttir, who fought courageously for a better world for women at the beginning of the 20th century.


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