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The Heritage-creation Process and Attempts to Protect Buildings of the Recent Past: The Case of Birmingham Central Library

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.The successful conservation of our built heritage relies upon multi-scalar negotiation between a wide array of stakeholders and agents in the planning process. This negotiation reflects both the values that we ascribe to particular structures and landscapes, and choices about what to retain in response to social, commercial and aesthetic opportunities, preferences and aspirations. We are particularly interested in how redevelopment and regeneration processes often result in the removal of buildings from the recent past–Brutalist buildings from the 1960s, in particular–even though coalitions are built which seek their active protection and conservation. Using the case of Birmingham Central Library (demolished 2015–16) we explore how conservation of the most recent past challenges us–how can buildings of the recent past be deemed heritage, how can they be meaningfully conserved and how are different interests mediated? This paper seeks to uncover the conflicts inherent within the conservation of such buildings, drawing conclusions about the heritage-creation process.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Belcher M, Short M, Tewdwr-Jones M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Historic Environment: Policy and Practice

Year: 2019

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 30/10/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 17/12/2019

ISSN (print): 1756-7505

ISSN (electronic): 1756-7513

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/17567505.2019.1679978


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