Talk about an old building in your hometown that you like to visit. Please say
– What and where is it?
– Why do you like to go there?
– Describe what it looks like.
I live in Washington city which is a relatively modern city as compared to ancient cities such as New Delhi, Beijing, and Cairo. In this city, there are very few old buildings. Once such structure is the Washington House, which was the residence of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
I visit this place once every few months as it gives me a sense of how this great nation was born. Through various scriptures, documents, books, and pictures, which are painstakingly preserved by the Archaeology department, I learn about how my ancestors fought against the British colonial rule and established the first truly democratic country on earth. This also gives me a sense of pride to be an American.
This is a huge double story house with more than 12 rooms. The ground floor has a large hall that General Washington used to discuss political and military issues with his staff and colleagues. There is a large kitchen that, I think, can cook food for at least two dozen people. The first floor has five bedrooms and my guide informed me that the General and his family occupied only two rooms. The rest were used by the guests. There is a large lawn in front of the building. Behind this building is a barn. The archaeology department has done a marvelous job of preserving this structure in its original form.
– Is it important to care for old buildings? I think it is extremely important to conserve the old buildings. They are crucial not only from the cultural perspective but also from the economic point. They are an important source of revenue for the government as well as the local people.
– Who should care for old buildings, governments or people? Well, I guess both should shoulder this responsibility. While the government has the resources to preserve these structures, the people must ensure that nobody should deface them. People are ultimately responsible for keeping them clean.
– How can buildings reflect on the life of the nation? Buildings are not merely places to live. They have the culture deeply engraved in them. For example, many buildings such as the Taj Mahal reflect the manner in which the Mughals lived. Their style was copied by the contemporary people and this was passed on to the future generations.
– Should governments regulate the building process or allow people to build whatever they want? Well, the governments must strictly regulate building construction so that the quality of construction and uniformity of an area is ensured. If people are allowed to decide the type and style of construction, the look of the city will be chaotic (deformed).
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