Preserving The Past Instructor`s name

Historical buildings are evident in every city, town or neighborhood. Their presence is always controversial especially when they stand on the way of modern development. Preserving historic buildings entail maintaining the integrity of a place by protection and reinstatement using new or ancient materials. This essay will look at the various reasons why preserving historic buildings is important.
Historic buildings define the past of a society. Having reminders of our past, especially through architecture enable us to understand who we are, where we are and where we are headed as a people. When we understand what our community has been through, and have visual mementos of our past, we can proudly feel connected to our places, town, city or country. Besides allowing us to understand what occurred in the past, historic establishments help us understand how things may unfold in the future. Hence, preserving old buildings is preserving our past, which gives us great understanding and expectation for the future.
Some historic buildings have historic importance for a city or country. Different places in the world are recognized for their unique historic structures. When Egypt is mentioned for example, one cannot help but think of the Pyramid of Giza. This historical structure is identified with the Egyptians and tells so much about the past and the culture of the Egyptians. The uniqueness that historic buildings give to a place is incomparable to none. During my visit to the Kenyan coast, I visited Fort Jesus, a historic structure that was built in 1591 under the orders of King Philip I of Portugal. It was used to fight invaders from other places. The Fort is a tourist attraction in the country and a significant factor to the multimillion dollar industry. Besides, it tells a lot about the past of Kenya. If the Pyramid of Giza and Fort Jesus were destroyed to allow room for modern constructions in Egypt and Kenya respectively, what would we identify this countries` past with? Hence, preserving historic buildings is important.
Preserving the past is also economical. We reduce construction costs by utilizing ancient buildings. Destroying old establishments include destroying materials and using new materials that could be used in building other establishments elsewhere. Most of ancient buildings in our neighborhood including churches, homes and schools are structurally stable even though they were built several years ago. In addition, preserving historic buildings is safe to the environment. Constructing new structures require materials that are exploited from the environment (Lubeck, 2010). Timber for instance is used in most if not all constructions in one way or the other. This means that a tree somewhere has to be cut which is degrading to the environment especially during the current global warming threat. It is only rational to maintain these buildings and continue using them, unless it is essentially necessary to destroy them, for safety reasons if they are no longer stable.
Finally, preserving buildings of the past is a sign of respect for the past generations. Yes, some historic structures may be a hindrance to development of a city`s structure, but if we consider respect for our forefathers, it is more important to preserve them. Besides, it is upon us to preserve ancient buildings so that the coming generations will have a chance to establish with their predecessors. As Ruskin, John, a popular art critic and a social thinker of the 19[th] century once said “…it is again no question of expediency or feeling whether we shall preserve the buildings of past times or not. We have no right whatever to touch them. They are not ours. They belong partly to those who built them, and partly to all the generations of mankind who are to follow us.” (NCSHPO n.d).
Lubeck, A. (2010). Green restorations sustainable building and historic homes. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.
National Conference of State Historic preservation Officers (n.d). Quotations on the importance of history and historic preservation. Retrieved (Accessed October 5, 2013)

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