Or Possibly A Landscape Feature

“You don’t want us to touch this one.”

“I thought you were the best demolitions company in the Worlds!”

“We are.”

“Then why can’t you demolish this?”

“I never said that we couldn’t demolish this. I said that you didn’t want us to demolish this. Look here – you see the very distinctive bevel on the trailing edge of the doorcog? That makes this a Stravage-Minepa Vault, and they build these to survive full-up planetary bombardments. You’re looking at twelve meters of hyperdense laminate armor, with the same again in two inner shells. You could fill this thing with conventional explosives and all you’d do is spoil the decor. Hell, let off a nuke in there and at most you’ll get a plasma fart for your trouble. Neither one’d make a dent on the outside.”

“So what would you have to do?”

“Well, for a start, I’d need someone at the top level of your government to sign a waiver holding Claithmat Annulments and all associates harmless for any adverse consequences of using dismounted starship grasers and high-yield antimatter charges on a planetary surface.

“That’s assuming you have control over the internal defenses – which are automatic and powered by a sealed-up reactor good for ten millennia or so after external power is cut off – otherwise we’re also going to need a promise of military commitment, or a mercenary budget. Demolitions is our specialty, not fighting a war against a supercomputer on a custom-designed killing field.”

“There must be some alternative.”

“Declare it a planetary monument?”

Trope-a-Day: Never Recycle a Building

Never Recycle a Building: Rather subverted – inasmuch as while the Imperials don’t tend to go around demolishing perfectly good buildings they don’t have a current use for –

(Leading to the related phenomena in which some buildings have been in continuous use and upgrading for something like seven thousand years along with all their different schools of architecture.)

Since that would be all wasteful and entropic, it would be every bit as bad to just abandon them and let them decay untouched. So you’re very unlikely to find an actual accessible abandoned building, even very shortly after it’s notional abandonment: what you’ll find is one that has been carefully stripped down, wrapped up, secure-sealed, and prepared for long-term “storage” by a professional mothballing crew.

So, sure, that decades-old abandoned building will be perfectly intact and everything in it will probably work, if you want to go to the trouble of unsealing and de-mothballing it…

but if you left stuff behind there, it’s likely to have been cleaned up, sorted, sealed into crates, filled with inert gas, and shipped off to last-known-address postage-due, or failing that, the Bureau of Unattached Chattels and Uncertain Titles.