The residents of the area of Patissia remain on foot after the demolition, three weeks ago, of a listed building on the Drakopoulou estate by the owner of the Hellenic Red Cross.
In the morning, they planted trees on Patision Street, in the area where the specific building was located, insisting on their request for expropriation of the plot by the Municipality of Athens in order to join the rest of the Drakopoulou estate and be given as a green space in the neighborhood. On the side of the residents, once again, were Nasos Iliopoulos and members of the Open City.
"There is not a single meter of free space left"
“The specific area has been claimed by the neighborhood for many years and the park that has been built was made after the residents' struggles. The residents are asking for it to be expropriated and turned into a park, with places for sports and culture and to be returned to the neighborhood, "Nassos Iliopoulos told A984. "The Greek Red Cross in an official response that has given said it will look to utilize the space. We say that unfortunately, there is not a single meter of free space left. The community council met last week but the majority refused to discuss the issue and this is a matter of great concern to us. That is why we will raise the issue again in the municipal council ".
The Drakopoulou estate extends over an area of nine acres and is surrounded by Patision, Porphyra, Laskaratou and Heraklion Avenues. Although it is one of the few green lungs in the area and in our city in general, in 2009 a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Municipality of Athens and the Hellenic Cross, which provided for the construction of two buildings of 4.000 and 5.000 sq.m. In the first, a municipal theater, parking lot and offices for the Red Cross would be built, while in the second, the builder would build shops, residences and offices. These plans were overturned by the residents' committee for the rescue of the park and the clubs in the area.
"We have been fighting for a long time for the space to be left to the residents. Today, we are planting trees in this area, there will be a playground here. The space must remain a park and only a park. There should be no commercial use and exploitation. It must be returned to the residents "says Makis Papapetrou, a resident of the area, in Athens at 9.84.
"Another part of Athens should not be cemented. Throughout the quarantine, people came here to catch their breath. It is a pity, with the plans they have, to make this place pure cement ”Ziaka Theodora, a resident of the area.
"What we want is a park and only a park. To be given to the Municipality of Athens, to expropriate it in order to be utilized with high greenery, to restore the two buildings that have remained and are of historical memory and value and to be a recreation place in Patissia that they need so much. The local history of Patissia must be highlighted. The Drakopoulos brothers had made a decisive contribution to the development of this place ", emphasizes Babis Koklas, a resident of the area, president of C'ELME Athens.
The Drakopoulou estate is one of the few corners of the area that still carry the history of Patissia, with the holiday form at the beginning and the industrial - business afterwards. It was bought in 1922 by the Drakopoulos brothers together with the textile factory that until then belonged to Sotirios Vezanis. The famous Drakopoulou villa (which collapsed last winter), the company's offices and an auxiliary building in a neoclassical style were also built on the estate. The factory stopped operating in the mid-50s shortly after the death of Konstantinos Drakopoulos. In 1977, at the age of 97, his other brother Athenodoros passed away and he left all his real estate to the Greek Red Cross to be used for public purposes.