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2012-12-01

The Independent: "Road to redemption: How the architectural influence of the motor car transformed England"


Link to 'The Independent'
(and photo gallery)

"The Brentford flyover is 50 years old now, and even if it still looks like an alien invader after all this time, it is indisputably part of the country's motoring heritage. Now Carscapes: The Motor Car, Architecture and Landscape in England, published this month by Yale University Press, is the first major book on the subject – and it argues that this is not entirely a tale of remorseless destruction and unsightliness.

"... Perhaps we have been wrong to continually paint the car as the enemy of heritage. ... [Author] Minnis believes there is a counter-argument:
"Yes, a lot of good buildings were lost as a result of the car, but equally, it opened up the eyes of a lot of people. The idea of going out to look at historic houses by train was previously restricted to those who could afford it.

Cars provoked this extraordinary boom in guide books on how to explore the country, and motoring journals right into the 1960s devoted a substantial amount of space to articles on touring, old cottages, and how to spot different styles of architecture."
"Now, though, it's the car's own heritage that seems worth valuing. 'It took the best part of 100 years for the railway infrastructure to be appreciated,' argue Morrison and Minnis in their book, 'now it is the turn of the car'."





Update:
Link to BBC web site and iPlayer
BBC: "China home, marooned in middle of road, is bulldozed"
"A five-storey home marooned in the middle of a new road in China for more than a year because its owner refused to leave has finally been demolished.

"The road, in China's's eastern Zhejiang province, was built around the house because duck farmer Luo Baogen was holding out for more compensation."

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