Across our offices in Hamra is a quaintly beautiful home with red shutters that may not be around for much longer.

Tenants of the home have been served with an eviction notice for the purpose of demolition, and though the demolition order has not yet been granted, it is a distinct possibility.

The home, aptly nicknamed The Red House, is located on Abdul Aziz Street in Hamra and was partially constructed in the 18th century with the rest of it completed during the early 20th century by Abdo Rebeiz.

Generations of the Rebeiz family have lived in the home since its construction; the current tenant, architect Samir Rebeiz, was actually born and raised in the home and has consistently worked on preserving it and maintaining its architectural features.

What we know for sure is that Rebeiz has been asked to vacate the home.

Nearly 75% of the country’s historic homes have been demolished since the end of the civil war in 1990 to make room for apartment complexes and skyscraper buildings. Urban sprawl has been a defining factor in the loss of many homes, especially in areas of great expansion like central Beirut.

The main goal now is to get the house classified as a heritage site, which would save it from possible demolition. However a larger question is raised here: if the home does get classified as a heritage site, who will then be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of it? Who will put aside the time and money needed for such a project?

With Beirut swiftly turning into a concrete jungle, we can’t but feel sentimental about spots like The Red House. They are an oasis of beauty and serenity in a desert of chaos.

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