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Peter Venkman: What do you think, Egon?

Egon Spengler: I think this building should be condemned. There's serious metal fatigue in all the load-bearing members, the wiring is substandard, it's completely inadequate for our power needs, and the neighborhood is like a demilitarized zone.

Ray Stantz: Hey. Does this pole still work?

[slides down a fireman's pole]

Ray Stantz: Wow. This place is great. When can we move in?

The lead character is going into business for him/herself, and hears about a building they can buy. Accompanied by their supportive friend or prospective business partner, they walk in, see the filthy run-down building... and fall in love. They usually say something like, "Isn't it beautiful?", at which point we switch to the friend's POV and/or the stunned look on their face. Often followed by a Fixin' Stuff Up montage. The building usually got this way because fictional cities Never Recycle a Building.

Can apply to other buildings and objects as well. The trope plays on POV dissonance between the characters; one sees things as they are, while the other sees things as they could be. The skeptic generally serves as an Audience Surrogate, but the dreamer gets the final say because he's the one paying for it.

Examples of Beautiful Condemned Building include:

Anime and Manga

  • In episode nineteen of Rune Soldier Louie, this is how Merrill views her new house. Her cheerfulness doesn't fade despite multiple mishaps during the Hard Work Montage. Her True Companions are doubtful, despite this being a step up from her previous run-down shack.


  • Alex Hayden of Marvel Comics' Agent X is thrilled to have very his own condemned fun park.
  • Discussed in Marvel Civil War, when Doctor Strange conceals the New Avengers in his own mansion, bespelled to look decrepit and boarded up (to twist the knife a bit more, it even wears a "Coming Soon -- A Starbucks" banner).


  • Ghostbusters: Ray falls in love with a dilapidated firehouse, leading to the page quote above.
  • The First Wives Club: The location for their womens' crisis center (which also serves as headquarters while the ladies plot revenge against their evil exes).
  • The Princess and the Frog: Early in the film, Tiana secures a location for her restaurant.
  • Accepted: The old mental hospital which would become the South Harmon campus.
  • Revenge of the Nerds: The nerds' frat house.
  • It's a Wonderful Life - Mary is in love with the old Granville house, which at that point is an old abandoned mansion that people throw rocks at. After George and Mary are married, Mary buys the house for them to fix up and live in.
  • Up: Carl and Ellie buy the abandoned house where they first met as kids.

Live Action Television

  • Mal Reynolds has this immediate reaction to Serenity in Firefly.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Ted's "dream house."
    • One of the story arcs in Season 6 involves Ted being hired to rebuild The Arcadian. The company hiring Ted to redesign the building sees it as it is, Ted and a woman protesting its demolition see it as it was until Ted discovers that the woman is trapped in a loveless marriage and uses these protests as an emotional outlet.
  • At the start of the second season of Angel they fight a paranoia demon in the Hyperion Hotel. It had been the site of numerous suicides, a lynching (admittedly, it was of Angel, so he survived), and a massacre when one of the staff made his morning wake up calls with a shotgun. In the middle of Wesley describing this, Angel declares that they're moving in. It's also not close to up to code, which Gavin tries to use against them. They generally took the approach of moving into a room and making it livable, and ignoring the rest of them.


 Antimony: It looks a bit empty.

Kat: True, but it's full of potential.

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