I stumbled across this Japanese blog by “mocomarimoco” that waxes elegant about the oldest apartment building in the Ginza district of Tokyo with an amazing slideshow of construction decrepitude….
Okuno Building（formerly called the “Ginza Apartments”）
Perhaps the oldest apartment building in Tokyo’s Ginza district it now has many art galleries and some offices. Although it seems genteelly shabby, one has to wonder if the building’s management actually cares about the place?
Completed in 1932 is building has survived 77 years….
….The Okuno Building seems to been awarded the Important Cultural Asset status by the Chou Ward government of Tokyo.
Between earthquakes, war, fires and the developed world’s worst construction quality, Tokyo buildings are constructed for only a 20-30 year lifespan.* Hence this building that has survived 77 years is considered an “Important Cultural Asset” even though the structure itself is considered to have a huge negative value (and land beneath it is worth billions).
*Refer to: Japan must kick the habit (of crappy housing)www.TimesOnline.co.UK