On their evening walk, they passed the half-demolished bones of the hundred year old church at the end of their street. She stopped, looking at it with a frown.
“What an absolute waste,” she said. “Might as well tear down everything old and great in this city.”
“Oh come on,” her husband scoffed. “It was an abandoned building used by drug addicts as a place to sleep and shoot up. I won’t miss it a bit.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “It was part of our legacy. It told us where we came from, what we could be. We lose a piece of history when it goes.”
“Greatness? Legacy? History? C’mon! In this economy the only thing that matters is jobs. Jobs get people fed, put roofs over their heads. Empty buildings don’t make jobs.”
“You’re right, they don’t. But they might just be better than the alternative.”
She resumed their walk, not bothering to wait for him.
“Alternative?” He called after her. “What are they putting there?”
“A twenty-four hour gas station. The kind with the blinding lights and blaring music.”
That stopped him in his tracks. “History at least had the decency to be quiet.”
Right now there is an on-going battle between the historic preservation people and commercial developers. One side wants to protect our history legacy for years to come, the other wants to create something new and alive out of something old and dead. Both are right in some ways, both are wrong in others. Me? I’ve always wondered why no one ever tried encouraging people to move into a space as vehemently as they tried to protect it or tear it down.