The Twentieth Century Society

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Twentieth Century Society submits new application to list Preston Bus Station

 

A new application for listing Preston Bus Station has been submitted to English Heritage on behalf of the Twentieth Century Society.

Currently under threat of demolition after Preston City Council declared that they no longer have the resources to maintain the building, this design icon should be saved from destruction for the benefit of future generations. The Twentieth Century Society urges the Secretary of State to endorse the protection of this iconic structure of great architectural merit.

Twentieth Century Society Director Catherine Croft said “This new rigorously researched listing application is a fresh opportunity for the City Council and other interested parties to re-assess the importance of this structure and to recognise its value as a legacy for the future of the City. ”

“We hope that they may reconsider their position and support listing. An imaginative refurbishment scheme could still secure the future of this architectural masterpiece,” added Croft.

Preston bus station is not only considered as nationally important, it has also caught the attention of international heritage organisations. The World Monuments Fund included Preston Bus Station on the 2012 World Monuments Watch to call attention to the great threats to pioneering modern structures that are an essential part of the cityscape.

World Monuments Fund Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lisa Ackerman said “In both the United States and the UK, there was a tremendous wave of adventurous public buildings in the 1960s and 1970s that illustrated the enthusiasm of communities to be seen as bold and forward looking.”

“Today many of these buildings are being demolished despite their potential to continue to be well suited for their intended purpose or adapted to new uses.  Preston Bus Station is an iconic structure and its distinctive silhouette would be sorely missed.  WMF applauds the efforts of those working to find a viable solution for maintaining the building,” added Ackerman.

The loss of this pioneering and rare transport interchange would be a huge blow to Preston. It continues to be reported as hugely popular locally: the most recent survey for the Lancashire Evening Post (03 January 2013) revealed that “Seventy per cent of Prestonians want to keep Preston’s iconic bus station”.

English Heritage has twice before (in 2000 and 2009) recommended that the bus station be given listed status, endorsing the Society’s view that this is a building of national importance. On both previous occasions the applications were turned down by the Secretary of State.

 

About The Twentieth Century Society

The Twentieth Century Society is a membership organisation which campaigns for the conservation of the best C20th architecture. It was founded in 1976 as the Thirties Society and is now recognised by government and has a statutory role in the planning process. For more details, see our website, www.c20society.org.uk.

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