At heart, we’re a campaigning organisation and when necessary we can activate our experts, members and supporters to highlight and resolve urgent preservation challenges.
This involves much more than C20 Society experts making a polite yet compelling case for an outstanding building or design to be saved or listed. We also need to make lots of ‘noise’, to ensure enough people, including influential people, understand why it’s important to act decisively.
Most of us are barraged by information 24/7, so we need to make sure our campaign messages stand out across all media – from social media posts to strong letters to the papers and local MPs. The more noise we make, the bigger impact we can have.
How do we know our ‘mass action’ campaigning works? The evidence is all around us in the irreplaceable buildings and design we’ve saved. These include the Art Deco Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted, the brutalist Preston Bus Station and the high-tech Plymouth Western Morning News headquarters, all listed after successful C20 campaigns.
Catherine Croft Director, C20 Society Landmark Campaigns Leisure Centres
Riding the crest of a wave (machine) after the recent listing of Swindon’s Oasis and Bradford’s Richard Dunn Sport Centre, C20 has launched a nationwide campaign to celebrate the architecture of the Leisure Centre and to protect the most historic examples. These are places of community identity and an intensely evocative part of our shared social heritage, yet are also some of the most architecturally innovative structures of the late twentieth century.
We are seeing increasing numbers of well designed C20 department stores coming up for demolition or unsympathetic alteration as more high street shops close in response to changing shopping habits and the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic.
40 Buildings Saved
C20 society celebrated 40 years of campaigning to save the best 20th century art and design by highlighting 40 buildings which would not have survived without our intervention – from our much-loved red telephone boxes and art deco lidos to concrete brutalist structures and sleek modernist homes…
Some of Britain’s most dynamic and expressive buildings are being lost to the developers’ wrecking ball, before their heritage value is recognised. This campaign highlights significant C20th buildings that have already been lost…
100 Buildings 100 Years
100 Buildings 100 Years was launched in 2014 to mark 100 years since the start of the period we cover (which begins in 1914). One building was chosen to represent each year and show the diversity and brilliance of the architecture we protect…
War memorials loom large in the architectural and social history of the last century. They formed a significant part of the work of major British architects such as Herbert Baker, Reginald Blomfield and, above all, Edwin Lutyens. On the anniversary of the First World War we drew together notes, primarily written by the late Gavin Stamp, from C20 Society visits to war memorials in London, France, Belgium and Italy…
Murals are for everyone and the post-war years were a time of tremendous experimentation and exuberance for public art – as well as architecture. Post-war murals are an endangered species. At least 1,000 murals were created between 1945 and the 1980s, but they are often ignored and even destroyed….
The 1991 ‘Farewell my Lido’ campaign drew attention to the plight of lidos nationally, celebrating their underappreciated architecture and encouraging local groups to take them over from local authorities. In the past 30 years, the nation has rediscovered its love of outdoor swimming and many of the finest examples are now listed.
The London Underground has long been feted for its design, but its 280 stations haven’t always been as protected as they could be. In 1987, C20 Society issued a report ‘End Of The Line? The Future of London’s Underground’ highlighting the at-risk heritage of the world’s oldest urban underground network.
First launched in 1985, C20’s landmark ‘Save our Telephone Boxes’ campaign has led to the listing of more than 3,000 phone boxes across the country. Many have been repurposed as libraries, coffee kiosks, workshops, art installations and to house defibrillators, once again fulfilling an important role in the community and demonstrating the importance and longevity of good design.