A Victorian Society anniversary publication from 2010 described the Whitehall project as a ‘megolamaniac conception’1 and a ‘draconian plan’.2 When it is remembered at all now, it is usually dismissed with epithets like these. Such authors rarely acknowledge that the widespread common sense of 1965 was dierent. For many people in post-war Britain, as noted above, Victorian and Edwardian architecture – as exemplied by the Foreign Oce and Great George Street buildings – seemed like a bombastic anachronism. The confections of their façades, and the gaudy colours and ornamental fancies of their grand rooms, had begun to appear outmoded in social, political and decorative terms. It was not just a handful of politicians and professionals who found such architecture disagreeable. This was a time when drab colours were being banished from many British suburban homes, when door panels were being covered with hardboard and mouldings removed to bring clean lines and a new sense of light and space to domestic interiors,3 and a new ‘Do-It-Yourself’ industry gave people the opportunity to re-imagine their homes.4 To many, modern interiors, and modern architecture, represented an emergence from the gloom of wartime austerity into the bright light of post-war prosperity and leisure.5