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Why don't Europeans still build beautiful buildings like they did around 1900?


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European cities, particularly ones in Central Europe, fortunately still have block after block of gorgeous older buildings--particularly ones built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, typically before World War I.  The styles have different names, such as "historicism" or "neo-Renaissance architecture", but the buildings have somewhat similar designs, with ornate exteriors, often with "rustication" (horizontal bands) and rectangular windows (taller than they are wide).    Even a standard apartment or office building built in, say, 1895 can be gorgeous.

Europeans built these buildings before, when they were much poorer than today, so cost can't be the issue (other than perhaps ongoing maintenance costs).  And they've survived changing tastes and are still beautiful.

Why aren't these buildings built today, at least in large numbers?  Europeans used to--why not now?

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No idea. A bunch of different factors I suppose. The question I have is why don’t we rid ourselves of the antiquated malls here in America and swap the anchor-reliant concept with traditional arcades from the late 19th century/ early 20th century Europe. Like the Galleria Vittorio in Italy. The Galleria of Houston was based off of that mall. That sort of district-arcade with glass ceiling-enclosed streets, small shops on the ground, with flexible office space and residential above, are among the coolest tourist destinations in Europe because of the boutique feel with fabulous architecture. Needless to say, they remain a special place for locals a century later. In my opinion the details, from construction materials to all areas in design, were chosen with such quality, and with the specific needs of the area at the forefront, resulting in a much more sustainable concept than the average American mall.

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