I like seeing old structures being renovated into really nice residential living structures. I have toured commercial and industrial buildings that have been converted into living spaces. Not just modified, but really made into quite comfortable modern living spaces. You can see examples of this in Lower Junction in Ontario, Canada. There are older buildings there that have been completely renovated to update them for modern living today including modern technology. The buildings keep some of their architectural features that have made them iconic structures, but the apartments are all new and filled with every amenity new tenants want.
I enjoy loft spaces with high ceilings and really big windows. I have been in places where the old windows were reused, but those end up causing a lot of wasted energy. You need to be wise in your building retrofits and update the spaces using the latest technology to reduce the use and waste of energy. You can keep those tall loft windows. You just need to replace them with a modern version that provides some thermal and UV protection.
It takes a lot of thought to take the structure of an old building and redevelop it into comfortable living space. The logistics of just updating the wiring and the plumbing can be daunting. Then there is adding in new technology of satellite TV and broadband Internet. I have been touring some of the new living spaces in Lower Junction in Ontario, and I have been really impressed with what I have been seeing. It is also an art community, and this just adds to the appeal of reusing the old buildings for some brand new living spaces. Having artists living in these spaces is good as they can appreciate the preservation of the architecture for another generation or two.