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Get your facts straight and your dates right

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Astragal comments on the speed of the supposed reversal in Seifert's reputation from crass commercial pariah into 'benign genius' (AJ 24.1.02), quoting the obituary I wrote for the Twentieth Century Society.

I would point out that I gave my first lecture on Centre Point at the AA in January 1984, 18 years ago. As for my 'going too far' in ascribing to Seifert the idea of a tower at that site, I doubt whether the GLC had much to do with it: it wasn't invented till 1965. The unusual idea of siting a tower in the middle of a roundabout is unlikely to have originated either with the developer or the LCC, but would require someone with urban and architectural imagination, who could follow through its important implications for detailed planning and construction to create what Astragal admits is a 'terrific building'.

As for my comparison of Seifert with Matcham, I don't see why that should cause surprise: they were both theatrical.

James Dunnett, London N1

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