Disappearing facades

Do you ever walk down a street in the centre of town, wondering what type of building stood there before? Or appreciate the historical buildings that are still standing today, but try and ignore the ones that were once considered modern and trendy but are now no more than a dating contrast against the once brilliant facades of more than a century ago?

It’s true that the real historical buildings themselves would once have been considered modern, but for some reason have aged much more gracefully in terms of aesthetics, al be it with the help of the restoration efforts of current owners.

And, occasionally, when I see an old photo on social media of a well-known street today, I can’t help but spare a thought for the buildings that had been replaced with ‘award winning’ parking lot complexes and skyscrapers today.

But lately, the part that strikes me most, is that most onlookers wouldn’t give these buildings a second thought. Or spare a thought for the people who considered it significant, all those years ago, who lived amongst it or whose lives may have been shaped around it at one point in time.

Take AMI Stadium in Adelaide, for instance. Have you seen the open void that is there today which once held thousands of cheering fans at football games, enduring the rain and cold as their team may or may not win?

Fast forward a few generations, and who will really remember doing any of that anymore?

If lost ancient cities or the remains of kings and queens can be discovered under parking lots and fields in Europe, what small percentage of history have we really discovered? And if photographs and artefacts found on site are our only link to what was (or perhaps still is) below the surface where we walk today, what was here before that just hasn’t been discovered yet?

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