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At risk: one of Preston’s most important Victorian buildings

That’s the stark warning from the Victorian Society, which is calling on Preston City Council to enforce urgent repair works on the former St Joseph’s Orphanage in Preston.

St Joseph's on Theatre Street has been empty for more than five years. For much of that time it has not been watertight or secure from vandals and thieves. It is now visibly deteriorating.

'That such a striking building in the heart of Preston is not fully secured against vandals is truly shocking', said Kristian Kaminski, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'It is also being badly damaged by rainwater and must be better protected. St Joseph's makes up a key part of Preston's heritage and should not be allowed to rot away'.

Although slightly hidden from view, the Grade-II listed orphanage is very central. 'The fabric of the building should be maintained so that it can be redeveloped in a way that takes account of the building's character and historic past.'

St Joseph's was built in 1872 to care for the city's destitute girls. It closed as an orphanage in 1954, and later became a convalescent home.

Councils have a responsibility to take action if a listed building is being left to deteriorate. Preston City Council must use its powers to issue an Urgent Works Notice to the owner of the building. This would ensure that this important building is weather tight and secured against vandalism or arson.

 

 

Thursday 22 October, 2009

More recent item: Stonebridge School listed at Grade II
Earlier item: Demolition plans opposed for London's largest private home

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