Naturally, the best spaces are those that have been carefully preserved and restored, but sometimes even new construction does a fine job of creating that casual-yet-sophisticated vibe loft-lovers swear by.
See what I mean? LOOK at that brick, that limestone fireplace, the height of that ceiling! Would I want the energy bill? No, but I could certainly handle a week's getaway here.
Often, "loft" connotes a large space, but, I'm of the thought that rather, it's a state of living. Metal spiral staircase = love.