Without the people, Torre David would be a worthless ruin. It would stand testimony only to a turn of the Wheel of Fortune, which took dreams and left them to rot.
With the people, it looks like art, or poetry in motion.
The skyscraper has always seemed symbolic of something. The state of it reflects the city from which it grew. What happens to Caracas, happens to this construction too; and, as this is the capital, perhaps it also speaks of Venezuela as a whole. Or that could just be the artists and the poets pointing bardic fingers to convey a message.
When David Brillembourg financed the Centro Financiero Confinanzas, it was meant to be a shining beacon of Venezuelan wealth and business prosperity. On board was the distinguished architect Enrique Gómez. His construction was modern, luxurious and it gleamed! Its future residents were going to be from the elite in Caracas society. The whole development yelled loud and clear that the Venezuelan economy was stable and booming.
Until it wasn't. Work had to pause when Brillembourg died and the money momentarily dried up, while his estate was put in order. It stopped forever when a banking crisis hit a year later.
Now the skyscraper appeared exposed to the elements. Nearly completed, but for its higher reaches, as if it had reached too far. Locals called it the Torre de David (David's Tower), like there was some parable of Biblical proportions in this carbuncle. The lessons weren't difficult to discern. All the wealth in the world couldn't save you, if the market turned against you. Luxury left to the whims of the weather will spoil as easily as the lesser people's lot.
But then came the community. Homeless individuals and families, who saw in that towering edifice shelter for themselves. There were no lifts and half of the staircases were gone, or never completed. They used ladders and pulley systems to cart furniture up above. They made homes in the shells of half made offices. They created informal grocery stores and butchers' abattoirs high above the ground, to save the legs of their weaker members.
Torre David it is called. A symbol of resourcefulness and a dispossessed people refusing to crawl into a gutter to hide. Or perhaps the message is still political - don't waste space, as you would waste lives and prospects. Or is too much being read into this. Is it still a tragedy, when the wind whips through unbuilt walls, even when the homes within feel like poetic justice?
The skyscraper has always seemed indicative of the city beneath. Right now, it's the tallest squat in the world; and hope and home to 750 impoverished families.