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C20 Society applauds listing of Cold War sites and motorway tower

The Twentieth Century Society has welcomed the recent listing of two cold war nuclear missile sites and the M6 Pennine Tower Restaurant

Since his arrival in September new architecture minister Ed Vaizey has now given statutory protection to five post-War buildings, having also listed the Scott Brownrigg and Turner-designed 1965 Yvonne Arnauld Theatre in Guildford and a 1970s private house in Somerset, by Stout and Litchfield earlier this month.

Speaking about the latest decisions, Catherine Croft, director of the 20th Century Society, said: ‘These recent listing examples share popular social history appeal from the 1950s and 60s – the sort of buildings people love to see in films.’

The announcements about the remains of two Cold War nuclear missile sites in Rutland (Grade II*) and Northamptonshire (Grade II) came on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis last week.

This decision was followed by the listing of the 22m-tall TP Bennett-designed Pennine Tower Restaurant on the M6 at Grade II.

Pennine Tower Restaurant, M6, formerly know as the Forton Services Area

Pennine Tower Restaurant, M6, formerly know as the Forton Services Area

Although this was seen as good news for the preservation of modern architecture in the UK, there is a fear that only the biggest or most exciting buildings will receive listed status, leaving less prominent modern buildings unprotected.

Croft said: ‘While this is great news for these building types, we would still like to see more ordinary building types like houses, schools and hospitals given the same serious consideration and included in the mix.’

She added: ‘We like the message that 20th Century architecture is fun, interesting and diverse – we just want to see more of the best listed and given the national recognition they deserve. Overall we are encouraged by the recent clutch of post war listings from DCMS, and hope for many more positive decisions in the weeks and months to come.’

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