In 1957, Bogotá was a small city where churches loomed next to Republican-style homes and cars roared up empty Avenidas. Pollution was a non issue and the green expanse of the Sabana de Bogotá could be seen from the street corner of the Calle 72 with Carrera 9. Rivaling provincial capitals such as Cali and Medellín, Bogotá’s population was 600,000. After it became a special district in 1952, the city grew outwards, from its northern most limit near the Calle 100, absorbing nearby municipalities. Half a century on, Bogotá is one the fastest growing metropolises in the region and its population is calculated at 8 million. The Avenida Chile (Calle 72) has become one of the city’s main financial hubs and while many of the gracious homes are gone, the La Porciúncula church has remained.