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News from Birmingham

We are still concerned over the ultimate fate of the Central Library and the Post and Mail building, both by the John Madin Design Partnership and threatened with demolition. We have applied for spot-listing of the Post and Mail building [see our Building of the Month feature on the Post and Mail building]. We are also asking for the Central Library to be spot-listed: time for the library is running out as 10 leading architectural practices have been short-listed to submit a design for its proposed replacement in Digbeth.

We were shocked to hear that Hugh Cadbury-Brown’s Halls of Residence on the Vale site were turned down for Listing, despite positive recommendation by English Heritage. Upon Public Consultation, Listing was also supported by Birmingham City Council and the University and its agents, so who decided to turn down the application? However, there is a grey, if not silver lining to this cloud, as Birmingham University has decided not to demolish these buildings or the Harvey-Wicks tower, but to keep and refurbish them instead. The placing of the Vale site on the Register of Gardens and Landscapes of Historic Interest may have contributed to this decision, but the application for listing some of the buildings on the site may also have alerted the University’s Estate Department to their quality.

As promised, we are arranging a local event on Saturday, 8 June. It will include the Jewellery Quarter, on which English Heritage recently published a report recommending over 100 buildings for Listing, of which about 12 were of the C20th. Full details are in ‘forthcoming events’. It is partly a recruitment drive for more members in the region, so do encourage your friends to come – I hope to see many of you there.

Related links:
09/2002 News from Birmingham - Eva Ling
Building of the month feature on the Post and Mail building

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