"Why was it built this way?"
Just listened to the Oct 7, 2019 episode of the Leading Voices podcast, where they interviewed Peter Linneman. It's a great little history of how he, through completely revamping Wharton's RE program (he called it "a disaster" multiple times), shaped institutional real estate everywhere.
The interview ends with two bits of advice from Linneman (52:52 timestamp):
Read. Read. Read.
"Look at property and ask 'why?' Why was that building built that way when it was built. Would you build that building that way today if you were starting from scratch."
He gives an example of housing that used to be built in the shape of a capital E (when viewed from above). At the time it was the best way for developers to provide adequate ventilation.
My question to the jungle:
Anyone have examples of a time they wondered why something was built the way it was, and the answer wasn't necessarily intuitive?
Podcast available here: https://leadingvoicespodcast.com/peter-linneman/
edit: cleaned up an awkward autocorrect