Should Historic Structures Be Relocated?

Should Historic Structures Be Relocated?

When urban populations increased in China from 1995-2015, it caused the demolition of tens of thousands of historic sites. As a way to remedy the aggressive urbanization, architect and engineer firms began relocating the historic sites to a safer environment. 

image © Fayhoo

image © Fayhoo

The recent building relocation trend in China has led to a variety of companies conjuring various ways that buildings can be relocated. Some firms suggest having sliding buildings that can slide into their new position on rails while others believe that the best way to preserve the structure is by dissembling them from roof tile to foundation and then rebuilding them at a new site.

Approximately 7 buildings have experienced moves since they were first built. While some have only shifted in a minor way- like the Zhengguanghe Building which moved 38M (shown above), others have drastically moved continents. 

image © Katherine Johnson

While the relocation of a building may seem like a strenuous process, some of the numerous reasons why China has turned to relocation is because it:

  • Costs less
  • Provides a better conservation of the building
  • Is environmentally friendly
  • Saves time

Since relocation has benefits,  as urbanization continues we can anticipate that more cities will follow this trend in order to preserve history and meet the demands of the future.


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Sources: Cornell University & CNN

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