It was impossible to see Queen Elizabeth at the G7 Summit in England this week and not be amazed at how this remarkable lady shows up consistently and reliably – always immaculately attired in a divinely somewhat frumpy outfit with a matching handbag and sensible shoes, perfectly coiffed hair, gloves, pearls – at the ripe old age of 95! Talk about longevity sans Botox, yoga, or filler!
While a strong gene pool matters, not to mention a team of doting assistants and helpers (and probably outstanding medical care too), staying active daily both physically and mentally must play into this ultimate longevity success story. But there are some things all older things (I know this subject well!) that stand the test of time have in common, including homes:
1. A strong foundation helps. A good education and well-developed brain via schooling, college, or reading work wonders in keeping the mind stimulated. So too with a house, anything built exquisitely on poor foundations will not fare as well as the house with a strong, well-drained foundation, preferably with some elevation.
2. On-going maintenance. All things weather and decay over time. I experience this daily. When exposed to the elements and harsh climates 365-24-7 the wear and tear can be excessive. Regular, daily ongoing repairs and replacements are essential. Preventative measures are equally important. A massive, aging US housing stock may help explain the additional pressures on rising building costs.
3. Cosmetic enhancements. Most things designed decades ago were not designed for today’s world and changing needs and keeping things in perfect order may not be good enough. Sometimes they need a new kitchen, re-designed living spaces, etc. Not unlike aged teeth! Antique and classic cars are being re-invented with electric retrofits to meet a changing world too. Enhancing something old should not be done at the expense of what was great about the original.
I love history and provenance. Preserving it and nurturing it is wonderful. And making sure it can function in a fast-evolving world is as important. I bet the Queen keeps an i-phone in that bag of hers with an active TikTok and Instagram account!
From the wall of Leonard Steinberg. Compass’ Evangelist.