The destruction meted out on Britain's city center during the 20th century, by the combined efforts of the Luftwaffe and brutalist city planners, is legendary. Medieval churches, Tudor alleyways, Georgian terraces, and Victorian theaters vanished forever, to be replaced by a gruesome landscape of concrete office blocks and characterless shopping malls. Now architectural historian Gavin Stamp shows exactly what has been lost. Reproduced in this haunting volume are hundreds of city photographs, showing streets and buildings that are gone forever. The accompanying text traces their creation and destruction, remembering the massive campaign to save the Euston Arch, wantonly demolished in 1962, and mourning the loss of lovely medieval Coventry, which was already doomed by the city planners even before German air raids intervened. Alternately fascinating, enraging, and heartbreaking, this is an extraordinary evocation of Britain's architectural past, and a much-needed reminder of the importance of preserving heritage.
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It may be a truism that this country lost more buildings to town planners than to the Luftwaffe, but it is still worth mentioning.May 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Britain's Lost Cities: A Chro...