[Lord Esher [Lionel Brett, 4th Viscount Esher], architect and town-planner.] Typed Letter Signed and Autograph Note Signed to the lutenist Desmond Dupré, discussing costs and options for new house.

Lord Esher [Lionel Brett; Lionel Gordon Baliol Brett, 4th Viscount Esher (1913-2004), British architect and town-planner [Desmond Dupré (1916-1974), English lutenist]
Publication details: 
Both items on his letterhead, Wellington Park, Oxon, and New Town House, Hatfield, Herts. ANS: 22 October 1952. TLS: 28 October 1952.
SKU: 23751

Dupré is thinking of retaining Brett as architect in the rebuilding of a house on an attractive site, and the two items deal with the practicalities. Both signed 'Lionel Brett', and both in fair condition, lightly aged. ONE: TLS. 2pp, 4to, Folded three times. Forty-two lines of text. Addressed to Dupré at The Lodge, Windlesham, Withyham, Sussex. Deals firstly with ‘the estimate for demolition’, with comments ‘On the technical side’, before moving on to the question of ‘salvage materials’. Continues: ‘As far as rebuilding is concerned it is never easy nowadays to work inside an absolutely rigid price ceiling. Building costs are still going up and it is sadly rare for the job not to cost more than the estimate. For £3,000 one could certainly build a three-bedroomed house with a decent sized living room if the whole thing was kept very simple, and I would suggest that the thing to do would be to start from the barest minimum with a view to adding and improving as time goes on.’ He concludes by pointing out that ‘it would be cheaper to build from scratch on an ordinary plot, if you can find one’. Ends by stating the question facing Dupré: ‘whether the beauty of this particular site is worth an extra something between £500 and £1,000 or, in other words, whether you would rather have a simple and small house on this site than a rather better house on a worse site’. TWO: ALS. 1p, 4to. Folded twice. He suggests that any firm Dupré uses should be 'subject to survey', 'so that we can be sure the party wall is stable before you are committed'.