This chapter explores the urban strategies of these modernizing endeavors as background references to a discussion that seeks to uncover the relation between the construction of modernist architectural icons in Brazil in the 1930s and the narration of a national modernity. It interested in exploring how temporality and differing historical perspectives alter both physically and symbolically the validation of a previous national ethos embodied in this case by the modernist building. In contrast to the modernist ruins, the real estate boom of the new beachfront neighborhood of the Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro offers the spectacle of globalized consumerism under the full sway of the market. The apparent opposition between the former avant-garde buildings now transfigured into modernist ruins and the triumph of the contemporary towers of the Barra da Tijuca narrates an important aspect of the cultural trajectory of the city of Rio de Janeiro.