Why Should Old Buildings Be Restored?
While some see an old building as an eyesore, others see it as an embodiment of the era in which it was built. The two juxtaposing views make it difficult for city planners to decide whether or not the building should be demolished. While many could argue for demolishing the building, we've examined reasons to allow the building to have a graceful revival through restoration and reconstruction.
Though it can be tempting to consider replacing an old building, one must consider the intrinsic value of the building. Many buildings built in the pre-Word War II era tend to actually be built with higher-quality materials (ie rare hardwoods like heart pine), they were built with different standards, and can be for the most part renovated since their materials are able to withstand more than current construction materials.
If you're convinced that the building must be tore down, first consider what's being destroyed. While the exterior of the building may look ragged, it's important to view the interior and see what materials were used and could then either be salvaged or renovated with.
While some community members might not like the idea of having an old building, many new businesses prefer taking over old buildings. It gives their business a sense of character and strives away from seeming like a major chain store that traditionally has multiple buildings designed in the same fashion.
Despite some members of the community not liking older buildings, the majority are believed to be attracted to older buildings. They enjoy the emotional connection to the building since it has been a part of their community for a long duration of time. It can provide them with a sense of patriotism, reassurance, warmth, and intrigue.
In addition to providing an emotional connection, older buildings act as a reminder of a city's culture, complexity, and growth. Even if the building is no longer stable to support tours (like the building shown above), the aesthetic nature of the buildings often make them sought after by tourists since they help them understand the cultural history of the area.
When deciding whether to preserve or restore a historic building, you must consider the implications of the actions. Once you start a process, you cannot return the building to its original state. In the picture above you can see the work done to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The museum acquired the church for the expansion of the museum and as such, the architect dismantled and rebuilt a wall and entrance. While the merge predominately maintains its historic value, the modernity of the expansion does replace part of the historic building.
Sources: Saving Places