Introduction to 10 Expensive Restorations
St. Peter's Basilica

Due to extravegant materials and an extended timeline, St. Peter's Basilica was one of the most expensive buildings of its time.


There are lots of reasons to renovate a structure. Deterioration, changes in taste and the need for more space have all had an impact on the complexion of architectural refurbishment. Over the centuries, some of the most breathtaking buildings on Earth have been renovated many times. A few have maintained their original function throughout, while others have been repurposed for emerging religions and different political climates. Many have seen the predations of war and the ravages of neglect.

Some of these monuments to human ingenuity are embodiments of how our tastes and priorities have changed over time, as well as the choices afforded to us in materials. Building is an expensive enterprise, and rebuilding can be even more challenging, both from a design and an economical standpoint. What we build and what we preserve from the past says a lot about us.

In the next few pages, we'll explore 10 structures that have undergone expensive renovations, many more than once. Some are among the most beloved and beautiful structures ever made.

First up, the palace of Westminster, or as it's more commonly known, the Houses of Parliament.