Alas Smith and Burns? Conservation in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre 1959–68
Modernist planning was at its zenith in Britain during the 1960s, after post-war austerity had passed and before disillusion and reaction set in towards the end of the decade and in the 1970s. It is a time often now associated with 'clean sweep' planning, where the only constraints on redevelopment were economic and conservation policy was restricted to the preservation of a limited number of major buildings and monuments. This article considers the re-planning of Newcastle city centre in the period when planning in the city was led by T. Dan Smith and Wilfred Burns, from Smith assuming political control in 1959 to Burns leaving in 1968. It demonstrates that, though modernist rationalism was the driving force in the city's re-planning, it co-existed with a conscious policy of conservation, born out of a picturesque design tradition.