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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, 5 June 2014

Update - Preston Bus station 05/06/14

Earlier this year it was announced that the recently listed (September 2013) Preston bus station would not be demolished by Preston city council but ownership would instead be transferred to Lancashire county council who run all over transport facilitates across the county. The county council unlike the city council is not cash-strapped and is prepared to invest in the future of the building, with £8m already earmarked for the project. Although the future of the building finally looks secure after a long struggle the debate continues on what is to be done with the building and whether it is still fit for purpose as a bus station.  

Such a major success for one of the countries most significant brutalist works should be celebrated as a great victory for the Brutalist lobby where we are so often embittered with another defeat, progress is being made. Everyone remembers how the grade one listing of George Gilbert Scott's St Pancras hotel created a momentum for the preservation of Victorian buildings in the 1960's, could Preston bus station be a turning point - we will see. It is also a significant success as (without trying to be to patronizing) it took place in the regions where all to often local authorities disregard the protests of locals and demolish without considering the true merit of the buildings (e.g Gateshead trinity square). 
What was essential as well as the significant local campaign Save Preston Bus Station campaign led by John Wilson was the national debate through media and newspapers. The interventions and lobbying of Angela Brady of the RIBA and other figures in the architectural world significantly contributed to efforts to save the building especially in getting it listed which laid the ground work for a move away from demolition. Although the tireless work and termination of John Wilson and others in keeping up the momentum on the ground and the pressure on the council ensured this national coverage of the debate and the preservation of this brutalist icon at least for the enjoyment and critical analysis of future generations. 

   What do you think of Preston Bus station? leave a comment! 


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