The city hall renovation that went viral

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Most people believe that new is better than old. A new phone is better than your old phone. A new car is probably better than your current car. A new sandwich is definitely better than a sandwich that is a week old. In many cases it is clearly true, old is better than new. However, there are some areas where old still wins out. This article is written to help show you the beauty of the old and forgotten.

During the coronavirus quarantine, many offices and businesses took care of tasks that they had been putting off for a long time. With no customers to deal with it meant there was more free time to work on the lower priority tasks and also those tasks that tend to get in the way. With no one around there was no one to get in the way of. In Jersey City, in America, the city council took this approach.

They tackled all of the tasks that are usually a nuisance. They redid some street pavements, they renovated some parks, in many ways they replaced a lot of old with a lot of new. One area that badly needed renovation was the City Hall. The building had last been renovated in the 1970s and it was starting to look very dilapidated. Not only were things run down and tired looking but the style of design in the 70s left a lot to be desired. Running down the corridor of City Hall was a grey linoleum with orange speckles. The first word that comes to mind when seeing it, is ugly. It was not just ugly, it was breaking up in places and in serious need of replacement. Quarantine was a perfect time.

When the lino was being pulled up something amazing was found. The original floor from the 1950s was still intact and is gorgeous. Looking at the newly renovated floor we can see ornate mosaic patterns along the floor featuring a complex yet beautiful pattern. How anyone could conceive that covering this floor with linoleum was a good idea is a mystery but thankfully the crucial error has now been fixed. 

The post went viral and it caused people to share their own stories of discovering something old and beautiful being hidden beneath something new and ugly. It turns out that many people have original beautiful wooden and tiled floors that have been covered with either carpet or linoleum. Whatever trend was occurring in the 70s and 80s inflicted some horrible damage to art and design at the time. Luckily much of it is being recovered. 

If you have a carpet in your home or building we encourage you to dig it up and discover what lies beneath. Of course, you should only do that if your home or business building is of a certain age. If you just built a new home and laid carpet, you won’t magically find amazing hardwood floors underneath. We recommend doing your homework first.

The pictures from the Jersey City Hall building that have gone viral are another nice moment that has come out of the coronavirus quarantine. While the pandemic has been devastating to the world there have been a number of positive moments. It is important to focus on these moments during these tough times and take what lessons we can. It is clear the lesson from this piece of news is that there is plenty of value in the old ways. As we move on with our technology and fast-paced world we sometimes forget the beauty that can result from taking our time. Today an office would never take the time to lay down ornate mosaic tiles and there is something very sad about that, perhaps this quarantine will teach us something about the beauty of taking our time.