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Victorian buildings not always open to change

Civic Trust chief executive Martin Bacon outlines the key issues about the democratic process and asserts that not all those taking part in the trust's Awards competition understood them (AJ 30.1.03).

However, Mr Bacon makes his own intellectual shortcuts by ignoring the fact that some of the spaces in Victorian buildings are inaccessible and unsuitable for most modern needs.

Victorian public buildings can either be left alone, for the sake of cultural continuity, or undergo major surgery to accommodate modern forms of public activity.

Furthermore, there is an urgent need to review the listing criteria in order to embrace the issue of 'social archaeology' as well as 'architectural archaeology'.

We would welcome a discussion with Mr Bacon on these issues.

Irena Bauman, Bauman Lyons Architects

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