The burden of history can be a heavy one indeed.
When our forefathers created such buildings as the City Hall and St Paul’s they must fondly have imagined they would be forever revered.
One can picture them indulgently smiling to themselves, safe in the knowledge these grand old buildings would stand as a testament to their genius — thriving hubs loved by residents and visitors alike.
As the buildings slowly inched skyward, they surely looked on in quiet satisfaction, safe in the knowledge they had improved their city’s lot. They could perhaps almost hear the gratitude of thousands of future residents filtering down the generations.
It is a nice thought.
The reality, however, is somewhat different.
Sadly, buildings such as those named above have, at times, been viewed not as the fine remnants of a bygone era but as a millstone round the neck of a city bustling with energy and enthusiasm hampered not by lack of ambition but by inadequate and outdated public spaces.
The calls for city hall to ripped down reached cacophonous levels during the early years of this century. Yet now it would appear a new use will be found for the building.
Likewise, the increasingly decrepit nature of St Paul’s an (admittedly long) stone’s throw away at the other end of the High Street has attracted plenty of adverse comment in recent times.
But it, too, may have a bright future after all, as we report in today’s edition.
At times the clamour to simply demolish these grand old buildings appeared irresistible.
No doubt some will still wish they had been removed, but the old adage of acting in haste at repenting in leisure is one worth remembering.
With a city of culture bid imminent, could our old landmarks yet be viewed as unlikely jewels in the crown?
It has taken a long time — many would argue with some justification far too long — to exhaust all the possible alternative uses for these buildings but, like them or loathe them, they represent an important part of our heritage.
New plans may just mean they have an equally important role to play in our future.