by Thomas Erdbrink, NYTimes
A petite woman in gray boots and a checkered scarf, Shanaz Nader had spent much of her adult life abroad, with long stretches in Tokyo, London and New York. But here she was braving a cold wind in this desert city three hours south of Tehran, making her way through a maze of high mud-brick walls.
But in past decades the houses fell out of favor and were widely demolished to make way for glassed apartment blocks, especially in Tehran. The sprawling family gardens on the flanks of the Alborz Mountains in the capital have long since been demolished to make way for high rises, turning landowners into millionaires but wiping out Iran’s architectural heritage.