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Civic Geographies of Architectural Enthusiasm

Neate, HL and Craggs, R and Geoghegan, H (2015) Civic Geographies of Architectural Enthusiasm. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 14. ISSN 1492-9732


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Our decision to take part in the civic geographies exhibition was motivated by a desire to explore some of the resonances between notions of what civic geographies might look like in theory, but also in practice. We based our contribution upon our British Academy funded research that focuses on how twentieth century architecture is understood, valued, cared for and protected by members of The Twentieth Century Society[1]. The group was initiated to safeguard Britain’s post-1914 architectural heritage. At the end of 2012, the Society’s membership stood just under 2000, made up of architects (retired and in practice), architecture students, builders, civil servants involved in planning, as well as other interested publics. Lobbying, campaigns and casework are central to the Society’s activities, for example in the early nineties the Society persuaded the National Trust to take on the Hampstead house of the Hungarian émigré architect Erno Goldfinger at 2 Willow Road, London, NW3 (see Figure 1). Employing two full-time and two part-time staff, the Society has a statutory role in relation to twentieth century listed buildings in England. This means that local planning authorities have to consult the Society in relation to any threats of demolition or alterations.

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