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.