Modern development should be given precedence over the preservation of historic buildings so that contemporary needs can be served

Essay by sarahong July 2004

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In this rapid development society, modern construction with more lands requirement is an urgent problem for almost every nation. Should old buildings give way to modern development in order to serve contemporary needs? The speaker preferred to say yes, but as far as I am concerned, I totally disagree with it.

Ancient architectures witness the development of man's ideas, afford essential values to a nation. Through studying of ancient architectures, archaeologists infer a wide variety aspects of the time, such as its culture, economics, politics, environment state and so forth, which provide accurate information for better understanding the remote past and facilitate us to the rational solutions of contemporary problems. Further, as language is the expression of man's ideas by means of speech, ancient architectures present creative works of ancient man. Some famous architectures, for instance, Egyptian Pyramid and the Great Wall of China, keep a vivid record of old people's wisdom and hard work.

They are not only great architects, but also an emblem of the nation, which is especially vital in this era of concrete skyscrapers everywhere. Meanwhile those splendid ancient architectures usually arouse people's strong self-confidence, patriotism and proudness, which is of significant importance to a nation's solidarity and flourish.

In addition, ancient architectures cannot be reproduced any more if they are damaged. As a famous architecture, William Morris, once said (and I paraphrase): "Any attempt at reproduction of an ancient building not only deprives us of monument of history, but also of a work of art. The impossibility of reproduction is not accidental, but is essential to the conditions of life at the present day; that it is caused by the results of all past history, and not by a passing taste of fashion of the time." This illustrates that it is difficult for modern...