Environment: And Now Recycled Buildings

In Salt Lake City, an unprepossessing group of trolley barns built in 1908 houses a thriving shopping and entertainment center. In Chicago, a seven-decade-old building that served variously as a hospital and a whorehouse is now a popular restaurant. In San Antonio, a vast brewery is being converted into an art museum. In San Francisco, a plant that once processed chicken feathers for pillow stuffing has been transformed into an office building. In Galveston, New Orleans, New York and scores of other U.S. cities, old buildings are being put to new uses. They are, in the current jargon, being recycled.

Preservationists have...

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