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Landmark last post condemned

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The decision to raze to the ground another building by one of Birmingham's most prominent post-war architects has been greeted with condemnation.

A litany of complaints has emerged over developer Abstract Land's plans to demolish John Madin's Post and Mail building in central Birmingham.

Site clearance for a new 14storey Aedas scheme kicked off last weekend, and was greeted with a chorus of disapproval.

Architectural historian Andy Foster, who is writing the forthcoming Pevsner guide on the Midlands city, led the criticism.

He said: 'Many of Madin's buildings are now threatened, or have already gone, including the Central Library and the Chamber of Commerce.

'The Post and Mail building is one of the finest 1960s buildings in the city, influenced by the SOM Lever House in New York. It's the equivalent of the CIS Tower in Manchester, which is loved.' Joe Holyoak, an architect and lecturer at the University of Central England, added: 'The new proposals for the site have raised considerable antagonism. Firstly because of the loss of Madin's tower, and secondly because of the huge bulk and undistinguished design of the proposed replacement building.' Madin, 81, said of the demolition of his building, which was opened in 1969 by Princess Margaret: 'It's being done on the basis that sites in the centre of the city are more valuable than the buildings that are on them.

'It won a RIBA regional medal in 1961. It's something which we poured a lot of work into in the early years and it's disappointing to see the current attitude to existing work.' The building was exempted from listed building consent in early 2004. Holyoak and Foster now aim to organise a petition containing the names of local dignitaries to raise the profile of the condemned edifice.

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