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Left photo by Ailton Silva (2015) / Right photo by Armando Pittigliani (1922) (IMS archive)
Avenida Niemeyer was built in 1916 in response to rapid urban expansion. In the 1930s and ’40s, a particularly curvy part of Avenida Niemeyer – incidentally located in the area that would later become Rocinha – was used as an automobile racetrack, called the Circuito da Gávea. Luxury homes, hotels, and the favela of Vidigal were eventually built along the road.