Washington Square, a mid-century concrete cul de sac featuring 3-story shop houses surrounding a stand-alone movie theater, was once a state-of-the-art development. Its design and function was emblematic of the 1960's modern Bangkok that covered over vast tracts of swamp and paddy land. Today, the remaining Washington Squares of Bangkok have degenerated into working slums, filled with low rent shops and housing that planners and developers think nothing of demolishing.
But if there is anything to be learned by examining the life cycles of cities, it's that architectures which fall out of fashion can regain popularity. The shopping mall which will be built in its place will never be able to replicate Washington Square's human scale intimacy - to say nothing of its unique social history.
Film crew exploring the ruins of Washington Square
These photos were passed along by Bangkok film maker Wattanaphum Laisuwanchai, who explored the remains of Washington Square for a movie he is making about vanishing Bangkok. That's a film I don't want to miss.