C20 Journal 13 - The Architecture of Public Service

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Libraries, fire stations, health centres, town halls and police stations in Britain since 1914 are topics brought to light in The Architecture of Public Service – once a stable presence in the high streets of the country, but now threatened by demolition or insensitive conversion. Some were buildings of exceptional quality and all embodied high standards of materials and craftsmanship that formed the image of public service, initially Georgian in style, merging later into modernism.

The absence of information and positive critical opinion about these buildings has made it more difficult to argue for their value as part of the historic record of the period. Ranging from detailed case studies of individual projects and the charismatic county architects Roger Booth and Fred Pooley, to overviews according to building type, The Architecture of Public Service fills gaps in our understanding.


  • The Architecture of Public Service
    Alan Powers
  • A pretty toy’ or ‘purely functional’: Town, city and county halls in the interwar period
    Johanna Roethe
  • Southampton Civic Centre: Patronage and place in the interwar architecture of public service
    N E Shasore
  • Public or Private? London medical buildings of the interwar years
    David Brady
  • Fire services in Middlesex 1920–1965
    Elain Harwood
  • Metropolitan Police stations 1920–1974
    Nicholas Long
  • Public Libraries in the Twentieth Century
    Robert Drake
  • Roger Booth, Lancashire County Architect 1962–83
    Richard Brook
  • Pooley’s Progress: Towards a modern vernacular in Buckinghamshire
    Geraint Franklin
  • The Body Politic and the Body Corporate: Symbolism in 1960s town halls and its precedents
    Susan O’Connor
  • The Post Office’s Concrete Transmitter Towers
    Elain Harwood
  • Saving our Civic and Public Buildings
    Susie Barson