Essay 151 – It is too expensive to look after and repair old buildings

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 151

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

It is too expensive to look after and repair old buildings even though many of them are famous and historically important. This money should be spent on building modern buildings instead.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


Model Answer:

Preservation of historic and notable buildings has sparked a heated debate. Some people argue that the large sums of money are being spent to the restoration and upkeeping of such structures that could be effectively utilized on modern ones. However, I think that old buildings are crucial for our culture, heritage and economy and therefore deserve to be protected.

Proponents of modern structures pragmatically point out that the utility of a building should determine its priority. A case in point is Kuala Lumpur. It has been buffeted by the winds of economic change over the last five decades. Rapid economic development has left no room for the sentimentality of both pre and post-colonial landmarks. As a result, this former mining town has been translated into a city with modern and magnificent structures. Besides, the renovation or maintenance costs of these dilapidated buildings are far more than the costs to put up new buildings. It is therefore very commonplace for old buildings that are in deplorable conditions to be knocked down to erect offices, hospitals, hotels, schools, and so forth.

Nevertheless, restoration of historic and famous buildings and structures is quite important. First of all, the preservation of old buildings plays a profound role in cultivating pride of our heritage, culture, and past, making us unique among the nations of the world. For example, London is known for Big Ben around the world, and it would be unwise to knock it down. Secondly, old buildings stimulate economic prosperity of the city. To illustrate, when tourists flock to a city, new opportunities, like employment opportunity, will emerge as the economic climate improves. Last but not least, historic buildings are assets to the city. When a building is torn down, it is quite impossible to know what exactly is being demolished. For, many buildings of a particular era could have been put up with materials for example heart pine or rare hardwood from old-growth forests that no longer exist. Thus, old buildings have intrinsic value that should not be wasted.

In conclusion, old buildings should be restored as they are vitally important for a nation’s culture, heritage, economy, and so on. Therefore, the government should introduce a coherent policy to reap the considerable benefits of a more unified nation.

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