The Great Repairs Workshops (OGR - Officine per le Grandi Riparazioni) are one of the most significant industrial structures in Turin.
They have been built between 1885 and 1895, to do maintenance and 'great repairs' to steam engines and train wagons. Thanks to this activity, at the begin of 1900, a social transformation begun. New industries have been built, those years, around these ones, and a first big immigration wave started the deep change in the social structure of the city that still now we can appreciate.
These buildings cover a 31000 square meters area. They have been used to repair train engines until the seventies.
The demolition was already decided in the eighties. A citizens' committee stopped the process, and the OGR had been simply 'closed' for more than twenty years. Now a part of the structure has already been demolished, and the future of the most interesting buildings is again at risk. A great project is trying to transform these wonderful structures in a Guggenheim Museum, but it seems that the city of Turin does not have, right now, the 52 MILLION euros needed to restore them. I hope someone will step forward (banks, insurances, etc) to give a hand (and money) to make this dream a reality.
Other projects talk about making this area a detachment of the Modern Art Museum (restoration paid by the Region), or a new university area (restoration paid by the Country), or taking down everything except the front of the buildings, and create a residential area (restoration not needed, demolition paid by the private owners).
I still think that a Guggenheim museum would be the right choice... I never saw anything beautiful like this anywhere. Here you *feel* our industrial past, with all its sufferings, emotions, illuministic optimism, pollution... the good, the bad and the ugly of our modern history, everything in one place.
Those great neglected examples of our industrial past are now considered 'uncomfortable to the eyes', and people would prefer seeing a big new shopping center made of steel and glass, instead of ornate cast iron and bricks attacked by ivy...


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