Preston Bus Station
protected from demolition


News: the brutalist 1960s bus station in Preston, England, has been safeguarded from demolition after being declared a Grade II-listed historic building by the UK government.

Architecture minister Ed Vaizey announced earlier today his decision to protect the concrete post-war building, which was set to be replaced by a smaller bus station as part of a regeneration of Preston's city centre.

The result marks the end of a long campaign to save the structure that was designed in the 1960s by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson of architecture firm BDP. This was the fourth time the building had been put forward for listing and its protection has been supported by a host of architects including Richard Rogers and OMA.

Preston Bus Station protected from demolition

Former RIBA president Angela Brady, who backed the campaign, has praised the move. "Well done. A great decision to list [Preston Bus Station]," she commented on Twitter.

Meanwhile Catherine Croft, director of heritage organisation The Twentieth Century Society, said: "This is fantastic news and long overdue."

"Obviously it's not the outcome we were hoping for," said city councillor Peter Rankin, who had supported the demolition. "We've always said the bus station is too big, provides relatively poor facilities for bus passengers and costs Preston taxpayers over £300,000 a year to maintain. We will have to take some time now to consider the listing decision and the options for moving forward."

Grade II listed buildings are considered "nationally important and of special interest" and alteration or demolition requires listed building consent, making it harder - but not impossible - for the bus station to be knocked down.

  • Dave Carcamano

    Too bad…

  • Steff Sulinski

    Shame it’s staying. It’s falling to pieces, it’s a horrible place to be and has a high record of people throwing themselves off. It’s going to cost the town a fortune to do it up, which will never happen. It would better for the city if it went.

    • PΔUL

      High record of people throwing themselves off? Hmmm… can you back this up? I’ve never heard of it all the time I have lived here.

  • PΔUL

    Great news, I think this could be a step forward in creating more events and interactivity in the community.

    • doctorfloyd

      How? By saving a dilapidated bus station, which is an awful building in terms of its operation and would cost millions to do it up to a modern, usable standard? Rubbish. That’s typical modern wishy washy ‘nothingspeak’ of someone who doesn’t have to pay for it.

  • generalpopulation

    I hope the government will be assigning Preston Council additional funds for the escalating maintenance of the station. It’s a brilliant building but can they afford it? Once again, the voices of loud, idealist architects trumps financial prudence.

  • shaurz

    Why people want to save such horrible buildings is beyond me. It seems to be twice as high as a bus station needs to be.

    • Black Lodge

      Its got a multi-storey car-park on top, that’s the bit that is celebrated in all the photographs. And it is not horrible – it is by far the most attractive post-war piece of architecture in Preston and is potentially a huge cultural asset to a city that has a played a large part in shaping Britain’s vehicular transportation past – this being the largest bus station in the UK and Preston being the first location for a motorway.

      Why demolish it and build some bland flats that would remove some of the city’s identity? Northern post-industrial towns need all the help they can get in making them distinctive from each other.

  • alex

    The team are in the process of applying for lottery funding I believe. As a nationally important monument to brutalist architecture, it will hopefully receive most of the money needed.

    Although you may not like it, it’s certainly the most exciting building Preston has. If people think of it as the Tate Modern before it was refurbished, they will get an idea of the aspirations the team behind its listing have.

  • JayCee

    I think perhaps the larger question is the need to list any building less than, say, 100 years old. And also whether the listing of the building has a greater impact on the progress of urban (re)development and regeneration in the city. In any case, the listing does not ultimately “save” the building from demolition in the future, but makes it harder for the local authority to jump through the necessary hoops. A good solid argument for urban regeneration versus ultimate disuse and disrepair would be enough for the planning authorities to nonetheless recommend demolition.

  • Prince Love

    I think it should go because the bus station would be better off closer to the train station.

  • PΔUL

    By making use of the space and celebrating what is to a lot of people, an iconic piece of Architecture

  • Gary Walmsley

    I thought I knew what Brutualism is, but I don’t think this Preston Station fits the mould. Who knew?