Before the arrival of the Guggenheim Museum.
“Bilbao was an industrial city which was entirely based on industries such as iron, steel, and shipbuilding. Unlike an Israeli city, which has a separated industrial zone, the entire city of Bilbao looked like an industrial city all over, with poor and grim-looking residential areas.
During the 1980s, the city’s industries were in decline and unemployment hit 25%. This caused the city to look even more neglected and poor and caused many industrial buildings located along the river to be abandoned.
This whole grim-looking site was located only 2 km around the river from the site designated for Bilbao’s most famous landmark, the Guggenheim Museum.”