We have seen old buildings with new businesses in them during our time here, while interesting, also a little off putting.
During our second walking tour, we visited a Catholic Church, and from the side one would believe from the exterior that the building is an actual church; however, when approaching the entrance we found a children’s indoor playground. It’s a reuse of space I’m not used to, seeing a candy themed playground somewhere that I would expect to see the foyer of a church. Similarly, on the black history tour, the guide mentioned that one old building was a bank which confused me because it looked like any other old building. I would’ve assumed it had been turned into an apartment complex if she had not told me. While shopping, as well, I see stores in buildings clearly much older than the businesses themselves. If they did not have these large signs, I would never venture into them because I would never believe they were actually stores.
Recycling space in this way is unexpected, leaving many businesses in buildings that they do not appear to belong in. After adjusting to reusing space rather than just building new buildings has made seeing an H&M in an 19th century building normal.