Art Deco Architecture

The Old Modern - Then and Now

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Art Deco Casablanca

Background on the city’s history in the form of a story.

Intro:

Stroll down the long palm-lined Boulevard Mohammed V, the heart of old Casablanca, and you have to squint to appreciate the glory of it all. On the surface it may appear more than a little tatty at the edges but, look beyond the obvious, and you slip into a Twilight Zone of utter enchantment.

Laid out by the French a century ago, the old crumbling downtown was once a showcase of imperial might, one of the first cities planned by aeroplane. A gleaming jewel of Art Deco style, pre-War Casablanca was synonymous with all that was dazzling, exciting, and new. Back then, the chic restaurants and cafés were packed with men in trilbies, their women in long silk gloves and heels. These days, a façade of grime may cover every surface, but the magic’s still there, waiting to be revealed. And, more to the point, change is afoot. The phoenix is about to rise from the flames once again.

Filed under casablanca morocco 1930s 1920s french morocco history north africa art deco architecture