This I Believe

Victoria - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on June 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: legacy, respect
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Out with the new, in with the old

Most teenagers have not spent humid August Saturday afternoons working on a Victorian mansion that would seem to pop out of the Addams family, but my love for these architectural masterpieces has taught me the value of hard work. I believe that before we make jumps for something new and shiny, we should take a look and see what resources we already have and therefore utilize the beauty that is lurking in our neighborhoods.

I believe in carved mantel pieces with a few dents and scratches to show where that certain chair used to run into it. I believe in wainscoting in the dining room where grandma used to set her prized china and where dust used to gather. I believe in moderate bathrooms with black and white honeycomb tile and a claw foot tub.

For some reason people of this time and of earlier ones have always thought that newer is better and that just because something is not “in style” right now that it does not have it’s own kind of beauty. Thousands of buildings have been torn down to make way for that huge “brand spankin’ new” parking garage that could have been enhanced to further bring life to a region that may have been lacking it. The whole idea that new is better than old has been the main reason this travesty has occurred and unfortunately has resulted in the destruction of man made beauty.

I believe in these old buildings. I believe that they have the right to be treated with a type of respect. They have stood for maybe one hundred years and then someone decides that instead of and old ice cream parlor, a McDonalds should go in its place. I consider that disrespect and although houses and buildings are technically inanimate objects, they are significant parts of our history.

The style and construction of these buildings say an innumerable amount of information about certain populations including their culture and their resources of a certain time period. If these are all destroyed we lose a piece of our history as a nation.

Old houses or other buildings have played some sort of role in everyone’s life and therefore without them our lives would be changed in some way.

I believe in reusing what we already have instead of creating something new. It is a new age form of recycling, take a carriage manufacturer building and turn it into a restaurant or some other sort of business. I believe that using antique buildings instead of building plain urban sprawl strip malls can only enhance an area and everyone in