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BLOG BEING UPDATED - TRY AGAIN LATER This blog records the controversial era of British architecture, 1960's Brutalism. Many Brutalist buildings have been demolished and many still are under threat

Thursday, 29 January 2015

2015 and Birmingham's central library

2015 will mark a sad year for all those who campaign to make sure the best examples of brutalist architecture are preserved for future generations and not carelessly lost. Despite an increasing awareness of the architectural importance of these buildings it appears that planners, councils and most importantly those who we entrust to guard our heritage  have not learn from the mistakes of the past and will continue in the name of modernity and progress to eradicate the best work of previous generations. I am of course talking specifically about the decision not to preserve Birmingham's iconic central library designed by John Madin which is imminently facing demolition. And yet there has been some genuine success over the last few years with the notable example of Preston bus station which was ear marked for demolition but saved thanks to the tireless efforts of a dedicated local campaign leading to national interventions (and listed status). 

Perhaps Birmingham's central library is an equivalent Euston arch or coal exchange (Victorian buildings demolished in the 1960's) by which I mean a necessary loss in our own time in order to galvanise campaigners, the general public and government action as these loses did in the 1960's (led by the Victorian society). After these losses many people woke up to reality which was a concerted effort to destroy the Victorian past in which as a consequence public taste and perceptions did change to embrace the conservation of Victorian buildings. Whether this is an accurate comparison only time will tell! 

Goodbye central library! Pictures of Birmingham central library in the Birmingham post


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