The following appeared in a letter to the editor of a River City newspaper: "The Clio Development Group's plan for a multilevel parking garage on Dock Street should be approved in order to strengthen the economy of the surrounding area. Although most of the buildings on the block would have to be demolished, they are among the oldest in the city and thus of little current economic value. Those who oppose the project should realize that historic preservation cannot be the only consideration: even Athens or Jerusalem will knock down old buildings to put up new ones that improve the local economy." Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc
The argument claims that the Ohio Development Group's plan for a multi-level parking should be considered and to implement the plan, the city's oldest buildings should be demolished as this would provide a boost to the economy. Stated in this way, the argument reveals examples of a leap of faith, poor reasoning and ill-defined terminology. The conclusion relies on assumptions, for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing, and has several flaws.
First, the argument provides very little information on the types of buildings to be demolished, mentioning that they are quite old and hence of no economic value. Furthermore, the argument assumes that "historic preservation" cannot be the only consideration to keep a building standing. Here the underlying assumption is that any old building doesn't provide a boost to the economy, which is completely wrong. A building that is of historical importance often attracts a lot of tourists from nearby areas, who visit and increase the local economy. Consider the ancient temples and ruins of forts in India which attract a lot of foreign and Indian tourists. The Bhangarh palace of Rajasthan, the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Mumbai, the Konark temple of Odisha are famous worldwide, despite the fact that they are quite old and even dilapidated. Rajasthan, a state in India is often known for its forts and fortresses which are almost in ruins today, but still, face massive recognition throughout the world. Each fort has its own story to tell, of battles, rulers and bloodbaths, and is frequented by tourists and students on excursions.
Second, ancient and historical sites often serve the purpose of several archaeological studies and excavations. A lot of effort is put into research and discoveries in these places. National Geographic has often conducted intensive research in places like the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjadaro, pyramids of Egypt, etc. This also serves as a boost to the local and national economy, not to mention the recognition and publicity in International Media, which in turn attracts and boosts tourism.
Furthermore, a multi-level parking may be beneficial for the citizens of Ohio and the tourists who visit the state from other states, but demolishing buildings of historical value doesn't seem to be the solution for this. The parking could provide a boost in the economy, but that would not compensate for the loss of economy that would occur. To say prima facie that cities like Athens and Jerusalem would do the same is stretching a fact much beyond its elasticity, without considering all the possible facts and solutions.
Finally, the argument concludes that new building, constructed in places of old ones, will boost the economy. From this statement again, without knowing the significance of the old buildings and the damage their demolition would cause to the economy, we cannot jump into any conclusion. Without supporting evidence and examples from other cities and states where implementing this step has proven to be beneficial, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence. As a result, this conclusion has no legs to stand on.
In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors.
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Please rate my first essay.
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