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I discarded my early special buildings when the standard buildings of my then-current Age became better value - I assumed I could always get another Gingerbread House etc the next time the event came round! And that was before this year's rash of multi-events...
It's tricky - and good - because it depends on how you play your game. The Tribal Square  provides almost enough people as one house ; 5 goods at no cost, which is worth maybe 1 alchemist  (which needs a 1/4 of a house to populate)  + the gold from a house + around a quarter of a production building . Well, well, it looks like I've talked myself into it, even though it doesn't look like it provides much.
Now to find the space for it. I suppose I could always delete one of my nine military buildings :O
Why nine? Cripes 4 should do the trick, just pick two types of units that fit your playstyle and complement each other and build 2 of each, and let GE troop rewards fill up the rest, on the occasion when they might come in handy. Personally I go with ranged and heavy now at Industrial, ranged and light colonial and back and it looks like heavy and light for progressive.
Well, I'm being greedy and aiming to get 1st place on the PvP Tower in three ages at once, so that accounts for at least six of the buildings. I still have the three archer ranges because they are such useful units and at 2x2 there's no problem. Since I'm playing a lot I also need the numbers of troop buildings to keep me supplied as they drop dead.
With only a few hours to go, it looks likely that I'll be no. 1 in three ages of the PvP Tower. If I cared enough, I could quickly build a spear barracks to take on the undefended towns, to make it four ages in one week.
Does anyone know of an easy way to find out which friends are inactive, or if active are not visiting your tavern? I'm using foestats.com to find some inactive players but it's a lengthy process and still doesn't reassure me that they are making tavern visits.
sorry re-read your question... same website I think. I find it pretty accurate but a day or two behind. Good for identifying those who have left the game. Thereafter you should aid from your aid history for a few days - the slackers will become obvious
I kind of calculate the value of a building per square. So a house that's 4 by 4 and houses 200 people had a value of 50 per square. If you would get a house of 272 that takes 4x5 blocks you can see if it scores higher or lower. The higher the score the better value you get for your space