A-bombed buildings likely to be lost in Hiroden redevelopment

Chugoku Shimbun reported May 12 that Hiroshima Dentetsu, the company more commonly known as Hiroden which runs the city’s streetcars and many of its buses, will draw up plans to redevelop a site in its possession on which two A-bombed buildings stand.

Located close to Hiroden’s main office in Senda-machi, the red brick boiler room currently used as office space and the adjacent electrical power substation were both built in 1911. The buildings had already stopped being used for their original purposes due to their age in 1934. However, unlike the nearby main office, repair and stockyards they were relatively undamaged by the A-bomb which exploded in the air 1.9km away, only losing their roofs to the blast wave.

Hiroden are talking about developing the site as a typically vague nigiwai-kyoten or “bustling hub”, though they don’t expect to be able to begin work until after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to difficulties in securing workmen for such a project.

The costs of restoring the over a century old buildings are prohibitive and Hiroden president, Masao Mukuda, is quoted as saying that the company is not proceeding on the assumption that the buildings will be preserved as “A-bombed buildings” and that they want them to be used in a way that can benefit the wider community and that if they have to be demolished to achieve that, then demolition will be unavoidable.”