Highly decorative art-deco bird’s-eye-view of Rio, printed in São Paulo, with designations of important buildings.
Rio, which in 1922 had population of around 1.13 million (as opposed to around 6 million in the city proper today, with a metro area of 12 million), was commencing a period of dramatic growth and change. Massive land reclamation schemes were underway, with the southern extension to downtown largely complete, while the dotted lines of the quays to the north in Guanabara Bay indicate that the port extension was still in the planning stages.
The cultural and tourist center of the city was shifting south from downtown to the Zona Sul, with the physical barrier of the hills being negated by the construction of a tunnel between Botafogo and Copacabana Beach, as shown on the map. This opened Copacabana to becoming on of the world’s most desirable and stylish destinations. The Copacabana Palace hotel opened in August 1923 and was made famous by its appearance in the movie Flying Down to Rio (1933).
The world’s wealthiest and most sophisticated travelers flocked to the city, spurring the establishment of elegant restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. The legendary airship the Graf Zeppelin would make its first visit to Rio in 1930, followed by regular service connecting the city to Europe and New York, from 1932. The famous Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue was constructed atop the Corcovado in 1931.