The Twentieth Century Society (C20) has failed in its attempts to get London’s Euston Station listed
Earlier today (13 May) the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) agreed with English Heritage’s findings that the terminus (1962-68) was ‘poorly integrated into its urban surroundings, and had ‘no strong visual relationship with nearby listed buildings.’
Although English Heritage praised Euston’s ‘lofty main circulation hall’ and said the Modernist station was ‘a rare example of a major terminus of post-war date’, the heritage body found that the building ‘was seldom given any memorable architectural expression and its lucidity is compromised by later interventions.’
The building on Euston Road was designed for British Rail London Midland Region by chief architects WR Headley and RL Moorcroft.
The Twentieth Century Society applied for the listing to safeguard the future of the station which had been earmarked for demolition to make way for a Arup and Grimshaw-designed terminus for High Speed 2 (HS2).
Last year the £500million plan was dropped in favour of a cheaper ‘refit’ option (AJ 19.4.13). But in February this year, Chancellor George Osborne hinted that he may reconsider a huge project to demolish and rebuild the existing station (AJ 23.02.14).
However a DCMS spokesman said that the listing decision had nothing to do with HS2: ‘HS2 is immaterial; the only consideration is the historical and architectural importance of the building,’ he said.
C20 director Catherine Croft described the decision as ‘disappointing’ and said the DCMS had ‘made a mistake.’
Croft said: ‘I knew [the listing application] would be difficult and controversial and that commercial led architecture is harder to get through than design led architecture.
‘The latter alterations to the station are largely superficial and could easily be removed to reveal the inspiring concourse. The DCMS has made a mistake.
‘We can appeal, and we will look at doing so,’ added Croft.