I found this article in today's Tribune Review website visit. We have all seen abandoned houses or other structures and often thought, "when is someone going to take a wrecking ball to this thing?" Apparently one reason for delaying demolition is a investigation/assessment to determine if there is any historical significance to the structure. If there is, would it be feasible to rehabilitate this structure for some future use?
Is this a good idea?
While some structures may have historical significance, rehabbing them probably is not entirely in the best interest for adjacent residents or businesses, passers-by, or the neighborhood in general. If it would be less costly to just wreck it and either build a new structure or incorporate some public space in its place, then so be it. In many cases, derelict buildings are a huge liability. They can literally be falling apart, can be the focus of less than reputable activity, or just deter people or businesses from either relocating or expanding in the neighborhood.
I am all in favor of preserving as much of our history, but for some buildings it is probably better to tear down and rebuild. If it is in a historically significant neighborhood, then new construction could likely incorporate some architectural characteristics into its future buildings...
For the story (Aaron Aupperlee, 5/29/2013) from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review website, here is the link:
Residents ask Pittsburgh to halt demolition of vacant homes