High Cross House, Dartington, Devon
Designed by Swiss-American architect William Lescaze, the house was built in 1932 for art establishment patrons Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst as a home for William Curry, then headmaster of the nearby progressive Dartington Hall School. Despite being considered to be one of the finest examples of a Modernist home in the UK, the building sadly fell into neglect from 1987 and was used as a student hostel. It was restored in 1995 by architect John Winter and became the first British Modernist house to open to the public. But less than two years after signing a management lease, the National Trust abandoned the property citing low visitor figures as the reason (despite the fact that the home attracted 21,000 visitors, almost double the number attracted to Erno Goldfinger’s Willow Road home in Hampstead, also owned by the Trust).The C20 Society is urging the owners to address ongoing repairs and to find a use that is compatible with the building.
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