Keep the Antiquated Buildings! GRE Issue

15 May

issue essay topics:

http://www.ets.org/gre/general/prepare/sample_questions/analytical/issues

“Most people would agree that buildings represent a valuable record of any society’s past, but controversy arises when old buildings stand on ground that modern planners feel could be better used for modern purposes. In such situations, modern development should be given precedence over the preservation of historic buildings so that contemporary needs can be served.”

Real estate planning has been controversial for ages.  When there is limited space and an overabundance of ideas there is going to be some strife.  Deciding how to utilize highly coveted land is never easy.  Many people believe that the best way to maximize productivity on sparse land is get rid of old, historic buildings to construct new buildings that serve more contemporary needs.  I can see how people think it is more advantages to build new buildings to serve current purposes rather than saving a portion of history that may or may not be relevant to current needs.  Making a new building from the ground up that fills every intended purpose within is ideal.  Though I agree it would be perfect in the short term to construct based on current demands, I think it is very important to respect the past and keep historic buildings in the long run.  Historic structures are tangible reminders of where we came from, more economical to use, and perfectly capable of meeting contemporary needs with a little creativity.

Tearing apart history is disrespectful and abusive.  If we destroy all older buildings, we are taking away relics of the past our future generations could learn from and admire.  For instance, imagine if historic Virginia City had all new buildings and concrete sidewalks lining the streets!  Sure it would be more aesthetic, and may lend to a better economy for the residents who currently depend on seasonal tourism for money.  But without the shoddy, old buildings, painted signs like the “Suicide Table” proclaiming fortunes could be won (or lost), and tattered, brown wood boardwalks, it would not be a special place to visit and learn about the history of the old west.  my descriptive section We would know nothing about the glory days of Nevada by getting rid of the famous Bucket of Blood Casino in favor of a four star resort.  It would be a complete travesty to modernize Virginia City, whether or not the town meets current business needs.  We need reminders of where we came from as country, and destructing ancient buildings would negate our appreciation of where we are now.

Why would we want to bull-doze historic landmarks only to build brand new structures when such an act costs an abundance of money?  my rhetorical question In a time of economic downturn especially, it is just not a priority to rejuvenate all structures.  I think Louisa May Alcott who wrote, “Money is a needful and precious thing,–and when well used, a noble thing. . .”  in her book, Little Women, would agree using funds to rebuild extraneously is not using our public coffers wisely.  My book quote Not only does it cost a lot to wreck an existing old building, it takes time to do so.  It is not very practical to cease business while the former structure is demolished and the new one is undergoing construction.  Even more money would be lost due to dearth of projects during the transition.  Because it requires such resources, we should not get carried away trying to modernize the world.  I think it would be more prudent to think outside the box and figure out how to use older business to meet our needs.

Similarly, it is not necessary to build entirely new buildings to meet contemporary needs.  In fact, the veterinary hospital where I work, was previously a restaurant, and a house from the 1900s before that.  We are able to practice current, effective, and meticulous animal medicine there despite the history of the building.  As a matter of fact, part of the reason I was drawn to apply to the veterinary practice in the first place was the cute appearance of the house-turned-hospital.  My current job location certainly feels more hospitable to me than past places featuring the modern white walls and sterility of current hospitals.  It is possible to conduct current business in older establishments, and even lends character.

Because the past represents our future, it is most important to save a piece of it in our real estate.  It is sad there is a movement to vandalize our past buildings so we can construct more cookie-cutter modern structures.  How many copies of brand new buildings do we need to be satisfied?  The building and rebuilding would never stop, and as a consequence we could not appreciate the past.  Demolishing historic landmarks does not serve a greater purpose, and it costs money and takes time.  The real trick is learning to utilize the older buildings for our current purposes.  last sentence especially needs a lot of work to flow better.

brainstorm 1:20 PM-1:27

intro & conclusion

points -1:45 PM

edit -2:00 PM

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