Art Deco buildings are widely viewed today as attractive, historic, and worth saving. Thirty-five years ago, they were one preservation society’s hardest battle.
The Twentieth Century Society formed in 1979 with the intention of preserving London’s best buildings constructed after 1914—after the cutoff year for inclusion in the city’s Victorian Society.
If London’s traditional preservationists look to old Euston Station as a martyr, then the Firestone Factory in Brentford may be the Twentieth Century Society’s example. Its first preservation call-to-arms, the building was sneakily demolished over a holiday weekend in 1980. The event gave validation to the Society’s cause of preserving the architectural style of the ‘20s and ‘30s that brought flair to the modern age.
According to the group, 150 places built between WWI and WWII in London have since been listed by the government as being of historical or architectural significance. A little over 70—some of which are still unlisted—have been rounded up in the new Art Deco London Map.
Designed by Blue Crow Media in cooperation with the Twentieth Century Society, the map includes theaters, office buildings, factories, and nearly two dozen underground stations. A summary of Art Deco features and history is included on the back, as well as a list of each building’s architect and opening year.
This is the second installment of the series, after last year’s Brutalist London Map. Blue Crow Media plans on branching out to other cities later this year, starting with Moscow.
Map, £8 ($11.65) at Blue Crow Media.