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Headline

Minister blasts ‘descendants of Brutalism’ and pledges to rebuild Euston Arch

Comment

I remember the current Euston under construction and the loss of the Arch, which to me, even as child seemed a wanton act of vandalism. Although, of course, the arch was not actually visible from the main thoroughfare of Euston Road until after the war and all the buildings cleared allowing for a green oasis, a buffer between the road and the station sadly never really taken best advantage of. The 'new' station when opened did feel like a move towards the future, out of the staid, grey and squalid 50s. Its sleek horizontality and simple, clean lines were then a not unwelcome contrast to the previous generation of station building. An undoubtedly modern building, there were still nods to a more classical architecture, particularly with the long collonade. However, time has not been kind and the appalling 'having to make money out of every square inch' attitude of successive railway runners has obscured the view of that horizontality and blighted the original aesthetic with layers of unsympathetic accretions, a process which really started even before the station was finished. It is now impossible to stand back and appreciate the station - see https://www.flickr.com/photos/31319650@N03/11933234213 for an idea of how it could have been. The latest internal accretions, whilst possibly adding to passengers convenience and undoubtedly extracting more of their money to Network Rail's benefit, have finally completely destroyed the grand concourse volume. This latest 'improvement' moves me to thinking the present station is not worth saving and wholesale redevelopment may be the kindest course of action. But, can I make a plea for retention of one feature? Not the ceiling, that has already been done (https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2013/04/21/in-praise-of-euston-railway-station/), but the one under your feet. To my eye, as all around it fades, the stone gently wears becoming softly more textured and beautiful. A little joy in a sea of mediocrity.

Posted date

5 November, 2016

Posted time

10:41 am

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