a love of old buildings that are being used again

abandoned ancient antique architecture
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There’s nothing I hate more than flat pack Tescos

Dropped within a car park square that once

Was a park or where a library lived.

Now it’s flattened like that Joni Mitchell song

And we really do pay to see those ancient trees.

But then there are the buildings that

Are probably as old as time, predating humans

With their rulers and their technical computers

And I kind of like it when we breathe in life

To those dusty walls, carved with leering gargoyles,

A place where our descendants prayed or read

Or where the children went to school,

And now we’ve turned it into rooms

Where people come together in their droves

To do a Zumba class or tasting of French wines.

Use those places so they’re not torn down,

Add your patch to history, don’t ruin what was left.

I used to work for a convenience store chain that used to go and put their shops in old buildings that would otherwise have been torn down. Some people may say that it is sacrilege to repurpose an old building like that, but I really believe that it was a great thing to save these buildings.

The alternative would be to tear the buildings down and erect a flat pack shop like some of the big chains do. I hate that a lot of the time they come in and bulldoze down something beautiful to put up a great steel monstrosity.

Obviously, we need places to buy food and other services, so some old buildings will need to be used in different ways if we aren’t to run out of space. So why not keep these historical buildings and actually use them rather than board them up and leave them to rot?

In our town we had an old psychiatric hospital that was boarded up for years and they turned it into beautiful flats and town houses. They kept some of the main features of the buildings and now people can enjoy those.

I think that if it’s done right and done sympathetically, a make over of these buildings can be amazing. I love the idea of adding to the history of the these places, rather than just getting rid of them.

Much Love

Rachel xx

3 thoughts on “a love of old buildings that are being used again

  1. Margot Kinberg

    There is definitely something unique and beautiful about old buildings being re-purposed. And it is nice that they aren’t getting torn down. They’ve got atmosphere and history, and they tell people’s stories. They’re just really interesting places, and I can see how you’d want them preserved.

  2. clcouch123

    I agree! Keeping old buildings up by giving them new purposes, especially to keep the buildings from being destroyed, sounds just right. There is a beautiful, old parochial school nearby that was recently cleared out from being a school. The building is going to be used again, though probably without the apartment I’d like to have to live there.

    Your poem reads effectively with allusions past and present.

  3. Greg Dennison

    I like this idea.

    That reminds me, there’s a restaurant not far from where I live, I’ve only been there maybe 2-3 times, but they are in an old brick building that used to be a meat packing place; they left a sign from that place up inside their restaurant along with the rest of the decorations.

    I noticed recently that they opened a second location in another town 25 miles away, also in an old building; I haven’t been inside that one, and I don’t know the history of that building.

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