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[Photos] Building the City: Snapshots of Saigon in the Late 1960s

Buildings play a significant role in shaping how we see and navigate Saigon — the Notre-Dame de Paris gives us a sense of belonging to history while modern high-rises can feed our dreams of grandeur and upward mobility.

One wonders then, what it would be like to navigate the city more than 50 years ago when many of the buildings we see today were still under construction. Would seeing a building in the making disenchant us from the aura of its presence?

In this photo series captured by Dave Teer between 1967 and 1969 in Saigon, the photographer seems constantly obsessed with building, as both actions and structures. Views of buildings, infrastructures being built and people building things are at the center of these pictures.

Compared the photos to the proliferation of new construction projects that are being done in contemporary Saigon, one might come to a realization that despite the utopic visions of urban planners and architects, the city might never become a finished project. Instead, it's forever being built and rebuilt, shaped and reshaped, its appearance ephemeral just like the life of its citizens.  

Take a look at the photos below:

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]