The issue of whether to preserve, or destroy historic buildings is complex. Many feel that it is most important for a society to stay current, even if that comes at the expense of destroying historic landmarks. Others feel that history is not something you can rebuild once a building is destroyed, and that we must preserve or physical history at all costs. I feel that it is most important to preserve historic landmarks, and that there are many ways that the desire for modernization and for preserving historic landmarks can coexist.
Historic buildings represent the life and culture of a society. They are records, and memories of times past. Historic buildings allow people to feel connected to a time past, and serve a valuable tool in teaching about history. When we have historic buildings to visit, we can teach our children about the history of an area, thus connecting future generations to their past.
Historic buildings cannot be replaced. We can build replicas, but we cannot replace a historic building once it has been torn down. When such buildings give us a connection to our past and where we came from, it is tragic to destroy such relics. Memories can exist without buildings, but fade away even further when there is no physical reminder. And when there is no physical reminder, we have nothing for future generations to see.
It is also tragic to destroy historic relics when old historic buildings can serve two purposes at once. There are probably a number of instances where historic buildings are altered slightly to serve modern purposes. An old run down theatre could be fixed up to look like it used to, but the seating could be changed to be more comfortable to people. There are a number of other examples of how old historic buildings could be altered to provide both modern and historic purposes.
There are a number of reasons that preserving history is more important than becoming more modern. Historic buildings are a reminder of where we came from, which in itself is very valuable. They provide culture and a sense of connection to times that have passed. Once a historic building is torn down, we no longer have that link to the past. Such an outcome is unnecessary, especially considering that there may be acceptable compromises that involve slightly altering existing structures to accommodate for modern purposes.