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Old November 2nd, 2014, 04:00 AM   #141
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Of course they will be missed. You can't just purge an entire era of architecture simply because it isn't up to date or old enough to be historic. It's a myth that they have all these oh-so-many mistakes. They really don't. Many were just allowed to fall into disrepair, housed criminals and the poor, or were built too cheaply and gave a bad impression of the style.

There's a mid 20th century stadium in Houston that is at risk of demolition, and some locals have said they couldn't think of a more iconic building in their city, and that it would be a huge mistake to destroy it.





It's actually becoming passé to hate mid-century modernism. If you look at the SSC XL 'superhotel' contest, you will see that the hate has switched to postmodernism. Almost all the hotels there are postmodernist, but despite how nicely designed they are, people are saying every design there is ugly. Soon postmodernism will start being demolished, then a movement will come around to protect that style.

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Old November 2nd, 2014, 11:00 AM   #142
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Quote:
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There's a mid 20th century stadium in Houston that is at risk of demolition, and some locals have said they couldn't think of a more iconic building in their city
Have you ever been to Houston? There's not a great deal of competition.

The reason the place is something of an icon is because it was the first example of a domed a/c stadium, and also (due to unforeseen design flaws) led to the invention of artificial turf.

For all that though, the building doesn't seem to be particularly loved. Fans don't wish they were back there rather than in their new place.

And if it was the 3rd of 4th example of that type of stadium, nobody would care in the slightest if it got knocked down, just as nobody has been bothered by the demolition of the later domes and other "cookie-cutter" stadiums of the era.


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Of course they will be missed. You can't just purge an entire era of architecture simply because it isn't up to date or old enough to be historic.
You can if that architecture is just awful though, and not worthy of keeping.

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It's a myth that they have all these oh-so-many mistakes. They really don't. Many were just allowed to fall into disrepair, housed criminals and the poor, or were built too cheaply and gave a bad impression of the style.
Nobody minds the good examples. They are just so far and few between, especially when foisted on those poorer people, whether they like it or not.

There's a reason why people have stopped designing towns along those 50s/60s tower block utopia designs. It's because they failed in pretty much every category possible.

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It's actually becoming passé to hate mid-century modernism. If you look at the SSC XL 'superhotel' contest, you will see that the hate has switched to postmodernism. Almost all the hotels there are postmodernist, but despite how nicely designed they are, people are saying every design there is ugly. Soon postmodernism will start being demolished, then a movement will come around to protect that style.
Which people?

You get some who don't like them, especially when placed near more traditional buildings, but I get the impression that most either like or don't mind them. Few label them as ugly.

Compare that to Central London, where few buildings built in the 40-50 years after WWII are liked by anyone, yet those after are more interesting. It's a very recent thing for people to go there and photograph any buildings other than the few remaining old ones.
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 04:05 PM   #143
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Houston? It has the Pennzoil Place which combines International Style with postmodernism, The PoMo Gothic Bank of America Tower, the Wells Fargo Tower, Williams Tower, the Esperon Buildings...

The architecture isn't awful, though. That's what everybody says in these buildings' 30-50 year mid-life crisis. You just don't understand it like the next generation will. It's already started to happen with movements like DoCoMoMo

That's an urbanity style which still hasn't really died out. The architecture itself has no problems as long as it is kept in good shape. Few and far between? Says who? There are lots of good mid-century modern pieces of architecture, just like with any other style. How well-maintained they are is a different question.
It was merely overtaken by the new-urbanism movement of the late 20th century which led to less abstract urbanity styles. Of course nobody will stay stuck with the same style forever.

Go on the SSC XL superhotels page like I said, and there are people there who say every postmodernist design is ugly.

Did most people in the 1950s London love the run-down Georgian hellhole townhouses that the modernist estates replaced? I can assure you they didn't. It's the same cycle, repeating over and over again.

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Old November 2nd, 2014, 07:38 PM   #144
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Quote:
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Houston? It has the Pennzoil Place which combines International Style with postmodernism, The PoMo Gothic Bank of America Tower, the Wells Fargo Tower, Williams Tower, the Esperon Buildings...
Yet any tourist walking round the city would still need to be extra vigilant to find more than a couple of buildings worthy of taking photographs of.

It's not an ugly place, but it is pretty dull to look at.

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The architecture isn't awful, though. That's what everybody says in these buildings' 30-50 year mid-life crisis. You just don't understand it like the next generation will. It's already started to happen with movements like DoCoMoMo
Sorry, but when your entire fundamental philosophy of design is to only care about purpose rather than aesthetics, you can hardly get offended when people say the buildings are ugly. They weren't designed to not be ugly, so it's not surprising. People really won't miss dreary functional buildings when they are gone.

There is some great modernist architecture, but it's always good because the architect has cared a lot about how the building will look. Such buildings are not hated, and are not the ones derided as being ugly.

Being a modernist building, in itself, doesn't make a building any more or less worthy of being preserved than any other building. The fact that there are some great examples of modernist architecture doesn't make the poor examples also worthy of praise.

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That's an urbanity style which still hasn't really died out. The architecture itself has no problems as long as it is kept in good shape.
Perhaps one problem was using materials that age badly, and quickly. Another is not appreciating why grey slabs of concrete never look as good in reality as in the renders. Yet another is a refusal to accept that the general public typically doesn't share the architect's love of minimalism. It creates cold, impersonal buildings that become eyesores very quickly.

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Go on the SSC XL superhotels page like I said, and there are people there who say every postmodernist design is ugly.
And they represent a consensus? It's not as if finding (poor) modernist buildings ugly is a new thing.

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Did most people in the 1950s London love the run-down Georgian hellhole townhouses that the modernist estates replaced? I can assure you they didn't. It's the same cycle, repeating over and over again.
They hated the conditions, but not the architecture, and certainly not the communities such streets created.



I can well believe that in cities with pretty much no genuine historic buildings, or no really attractive buildings, some buildings that people grew up with might take on a status more than they'd merit anywhere else. I can well believe that when examples of a style start to become rare through demolition, there'll be those who rightly state a few examples should be preserved. In very few cases, however, do I think people will be putting up "then & now" photos of modernist buildings, saying how awful it is to see what they were replaced by.
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 07:40 PM   #145
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Sorry, but when your entire fundamental philosophy of design is to only care about purpose rather than aesthetics, you can hardly get offended when people say the buildings are ugly. They weren't designed to not be ugly, so it's not surprising. People really won't miss dreary functional buildings when they are gone.
Agree 100%.
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 09:31 PM   #146
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Yet any tourist walking round the city would still need to be extra vigilant to find more than a couple of buildings worthy of taking photographs of.

It's not an ugly place, but it is pretty dull to look at.
Completely subjective and many people would disagree.

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Sorry, but when your entire fundamental philosophy of design is to only care about purpose rather than aesthetics, you can hardly get offended when people say the buildings are ugly. They weren't designed to not be ugly, so it's not surprising. People really won't miss dreary functional buildings when they are gone.
Wrong idea about modernism. Functionalism was only a positive by-product of using clean refined design. Modernism is about creating beauty through surfaces, clean forms, linear pattern, space and light. Functionalism was only what was advertised to the clueless-about-architecture public, in a time of massive societal change and optimism.
LeCorbusier grew to hate the word 'functionalist' because he was an artist/architect in minimalist and linear design.

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There is some great modernist architecture, but it's always good because the architect has cared a lot about how the building will look. Such buildings are not hated, and are not the ones derided as being ugly.
Your point? Many buildings are like this from all styles.

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Being a modernist building, in itself, doesn't make a building any more or less worthy of being preserved than any other building. The fact that there are some great examples of modernist architecture doesn't make the poor examples also worthy of praise.
But how many poor ones are there? How many ones are seen as 'poor' just because they're in their 50 year crisis?

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Perhaps one problem was using materials that age badly, and quickly. Another is not appreciating why grey slabs of concrete never look as good in reality as in the renders. Yet another is a refusal to accept that the general public typically doesn't share the architect's love of minimalism. It creates cold, impersonal buildings that become eyesores very quickly.
Concrete was used for its characteristic texture, and grey was the 'black' in the mid-century era. Everything went with grey back then. It's quite condescending to assume what the public doesn't like or can't handle. They were never meant to be lovey-dovey, safe and cutesy at the base, but they were meant to fit in with the rest of the abstract or minimalist design. If the base is well maintained, nobody has a problem with it. Why don't they hire 'normal people' to design the buildings if architects are so bad at it?

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And they represent a consensus? It's not as if finding (poor) modernist buildings ugly is a new thing.
The Park Hill Estate in Sheffield was regarded as excellent when it first opened but then it became a slum and people hated it. Now that it's restored, many people like it again.

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They hated the conditions, but not the architecture, and certainly not the communities such streets created.
What communities? Like I said many places like this were hellholes. It's hypocritical to ignore the negative aspects of one part of history yet focus on those of another.
This is the kind of typical architecture that was replaced in London, if it was not destroyed in WWII.
Is this any more attractive than what they're threatening to demolish now?


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I can well believe that in cities with pretty much no genuine historic buildings, or no really attractive buildings, some buildings that people grew up with might take on a status more than they'd merit anywhere else. I can well believe that when examples of a style start to become rare through demolition, there'll be those who rightly state a few examples should be preserved.
And when they become 100, 200 years old they still won't be 'genuinely historic'?

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In very few cases, however, do I think people will be putting up "then & now" photos of modernist buildings, saying how awful it is to see what they were replaced by.
And who says this will not happen in the future when more of those buildings are replaced?
Often times they're not even replaced by anything.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:01 AM   #147
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Completely subjective and many people would disagree.
Very few people would disagree. Very few regard Houston as a tourist destination, even those from the city. It's a functional place, but that's about it. They've even collected up a lot of the old wooden buildings and transplanted them into parts of the city centre to try and give people something worth looking at.

The most heavily promoted part of the city for tourism is the few blocks of "old town" that survive.

And I speak as someone who's actually been to Houston as a tourist.

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Wrong idea about modernism. Functionalism was only a positive by-product of using clean refined design. Modernism is about creating beauty through surfaces, clean forms, linear pattern, space and light. Functionalism was only what was advertised to the clueless-about-architecture public, in a time of massive societal change and optimism.
LeCorbusier grew to hate the word 'functionalist' because he was an artist/architect in minimalist and linear design.
aah, I see. People who don't share your views are "clueless".

Why does the tale about the Emperor's new clothes spring to mind?

There are many many fine examples of modern architecture, some brilliant.

But it was a time of experimentation, and experimentation, by its very nature, sometimes fails. I just can't understand why so many lovers of modernism and minimalism seemingly refuse to accept things didn't always work, and some pretty awful buildings were produced as a result.



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But how many poor ones are there? How many ones are seen as 'poor' just because they're in their 50 year crisis?
How many non poor examples are being knocked down?

How many non poor examples are regarded as ugly?

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Concrete was used for its characteristic texture, and grey was the 'black' in the mid-century era. Everything went with grey back then.
That's not really true. One of the big complaints about modernist architecture was the complete lack of sympathy to surrounding buildings. Concrete wasn't chosen because it went with the existing buildings. It was chosen because the architects didn't give a shit about the existing buildings, just their vision.


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The Park Hill Estate in Sheffield was regarded as excellent when it first opened but then it became a slum and people hated it. Now that it's restored, many people like it again.
It was also one of the best designed of its type. Hundreds of cheaper examples were hated long before they became slums.

Essentially it comes down to quality, both in design and build. All styles of building can have poor and good design. It's just a lot easier for a building designed with no effort to look pleasing to look ugly, especially when it ages quickly and badly.

There are many old victorian factories/mills which looked ripe for demolition not so long ago, but renovation and restoration has given them a new life. That only happened though because of the craft that went into their design, and the materials used in their construction.

Maybe you can see a future where people will want to live in the featureless "cornflake packet" office blocks built in the 1960s, but if they do they'll have to first be renovated beyond recognition of their mothers to make them appealing.

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What communities?
The kind where people would know everyone in their street, where neighbours were genuine neighbours. The kind that the failed "streets in the sky" totally failed to achieve.

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This is the kind of typical architecture that was replaced in London, if it was not destroyed in WWII.
Is this any more attractive than what they're threatening to demolish now?
Are you really trying to say that derelict house was typical of housing in London in the 1940s?

And what are they trying to demolish now?

Quote:
And when they become 100, 200 years old they still won't be 'genuinely historic'?
Not in a city with numerous older and better examples.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 04:24 AM   #148
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These blocks of text are ludicrous. One more and then I'm done. You don't see these buildings as historic? Fine. The people of the future will, and they will blame people like you for inspiring the demolition of these buildings. Even the architecture media recognized the cycle that's repeating and they support the the preservation of these buildings.
http://www.archdaily.com/455999/the-...ury-modernism/


...

It doesn't matter what the purpose is or how interactive these places are. It doesn't affect their historic value and aesthetic designs. Yes, Houston is functionalist. That doesn't mean its architecture is worthless or not historic.


I'm not saying because they disagree with me they're clueless. Most people aren't aware of what 'clean lines' or 'minimalist abstracticism' means unless they're into architecture. But functionality? Everybody knows what that is.

Given that most non-artsy people, at least in North America, live in suburban housing with kitschy faux-classic architecture that looks bad from the start makes me question their taste as well. They just want easy-to-understand architecture, but not apartments since they want the illusion that they're independent as well (even though they're not.)

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That's not really true. One of the big complaints about modernist architecture was the complete lack of sympathy to surrounding buildings. Concrete wasn't chosen because it went with the existing buildings. It was chosen because the architects didn't give a shit about the existing buildings, just their vision.
If nothing broke the context the place would be boring. It reminds me of that beautiful Orange County beton-brut government office that was nearly demolished and replaced by a cutesy but boring kitschyclassical mediocrity that would have fit in seamlessly with the rest of the old surroundings, scared to make a statement.
People long ago used to hate Gothic architecture for breaking their precious romanesque urban context.

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Are you really trying to say that derelict house was typical of housing in London in the 1940s?
I'm saying that was the typical social housing of London in the 1940s.
Now the modernist social housing is being demolished.

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Not in a city with numerous older and better examples.
So New York's 1920s midrises aren't nice and historic since NY also has nicer 19th century midrises?

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The kind where people would know everyone in their street, where neighbours were genuine neighbours.
I don't think it has much to do with architecture. I live in a 100-year old victorian neighbourhood with the same kind of neighbourly style and I rarely see anybody interacting with their neighbours. I don't know anybody else on my street and I don't think anyone else does either. And what about the 'streets in the sky' prevented people from seeing their neighbours? If anything it would encourage more interaction.

And what's the alternative? Suburban copy/paste houses perfect for neighbours? The most boring places on earth?


I never said there weren't any modern buildings that didn't work. You can just search up ten minute long compilations of implosion videos of modernist buildings. It's when people start saying that most modernist buildings were failed and that it's okay to demolish most of them, that there's a problem. The main failure is the assumption that these buildings are low maintenance, and they get run down and become nasty places.
You could get a soviet-era housing tower to look like the Bauhaus School or the Weissenhof Estate if you renovate it the right way. And it wouldn't deviate much from its original design.


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Old November 3rd, 2014, 06:08 AM   #149
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Look ThatOneGuy... Nobody is condemning modern architecture as a whole in this thread. The whole concept of the thread from is the demolition of exceptional buildings of all architectural types.

If a grand classical building is destroyed for a modernist box in a city which already has comparable modern buildings, that's moronic. If a modernist box is destroyed for a kitschy and smaller-scale building in a city already dominated by grand classical buildings, that too is moronic. I agree with some of your examples as well.
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Old December 15th, 2014, 09:05 PM   #150
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Pabst Building, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...t_Building.jpg

Replaced by 100 East Wisconsin

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BZ2ulFHkGY...640/img476.jpg
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Old December 16th, 2014, 12:19 AM   #151
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Biltmore Hotel OKC
It was demolished as part of a disastrous urban renewal program during the 70s.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 05:17 AM   #152
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Here is reported the destruction of the German Embassy in Belgrade.

http://gioranoangelo.archive.html

http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Beograd







A strange building, but somehow very german.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 05:40 AM   #153
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Good plot size. Be interested to see what they replace it with.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 02:07 PM   #154
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Very German? Really can't say that. It looks rather Japanese to me in its modernist citations of East Asian styles.


Anyway, I've got a quote of the JFK First Lady for you.

"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?

Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters... This is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won't all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes."


- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
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Old February 12th, 2015, 02:12 PM   #155
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The US seems to be becoming a world of cookie-cutter suburban houses and postmodern shopping malls rather than glass and steel boxes
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Old February 12th, 2015, 10:01 PM   #156
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London RIP

Imperial Hotel,bult in 1911 and famed for it's Turkish baths - demolished in 1966.


Today. Wondrous!



Carlton Hotel,built in 1899 and demolished in 1958.


Replaced with the New Zealand Embassy - now a listed 'masterpiece'.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 10:07 PM   #157
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What a tragedy. The crap they put in its place is mind blowing.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 08:44 AM   #158
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More from London


the huge London Opera House

image hosted on flickr



demolished for this rare gem:




Isthmian Club



now:





City of London School



Now



Franco-British Court of Honour, 1908






To-dayyyyyy




Columbia Market demolished 1958-66





It's replacement:




St Thomas's Hospital, damaged by war and piecemeal demolished until 1998





It's hi tech, futuristic upgrade




Imperial Institute, demolished 1957, except for one of the towers



Yay:





Holborn Viaduct:



Today:

Largest domes in the world, the International Exhibition building





Christs's Hospital






Today



_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Old February 13th, 2015, 01:20 PM   #159
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stunning.

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Old February 13th, 2015, 09:47 PM   #160
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London's Columbia Market and the Imperial Institute clearly are among the most moronic demolitions in the world, ever. It's beyond grasp what riddled people back then to commit such crimes. Yes, demolishing such buildings needs to be considered a crime, anyone responsible still living should encounter consequences, especially if it were listed buildings.
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