This is my favourite building in London, one of the greatest things I have
beheld on earth. This masterpiece, by the man who gave us the Albert Memorial,
is a 19th Century work of gothic brilliance. I really can never get enough
of it's stunning complexity
It's a former railway hotel, which is, from top to bottom,
a crescendo of cutely crafted architecture,
a cathedral that moulds the skyline with dreaming spires and battlements.
A huge clock tower dominates the East corner, and the rest of the frontage
swoops and curves down and around to meet the grand entrance on the West side.
The interiors, those parts that have not been altered, still reveal the skeleton of its engineering
craftsmanship and fittings, especially in the old ticket hall.
I for one would like to explore its victorian secrets hidden in the many rooms of its abandoned shell before it all gets blasted. I just assume they will redevelop it too insensitivly. I think it should be restored to a state that exactly reflects its exterior. Too much, im afraid, has been said about just preserving the main hall and staircase. This is only a single element in a gorgeous interior that should be kept in its entirety. There is more to this place than the stairs, even though they are the location the first Spice Girls video.
In fact, on my visit to the interior in 1996, we were restricted from seeing anything else but that damned staircase, and I was fed up with hearing about it. The greater interest is in the depth of the hotel as a whole, along with the unexplored victoriana, and its fixtures, much of which was shown on TV. Quite why one was not allowed to be set free to wander it's many rooms and corridors, was beyond me.
Anyway, the best of St Pancras Station is in the exterior architecture, and that goes for the side viewable from the train shed. The building is a vast complex, and had a vast underbelly, once used for cars and taxis. The romance of it all was that it had been generally left alone by the typical idiots that ruin everything. Until now, that is.
2003 saw the Station begin a systematic ritual of abuse by the owners. A fine building to be generally gutted so that it might fit in with newer ideas. Such ideas meant that a station like St Pancras dealing with the north of England would now be the terminal for Eurostar from the south. Cue flattening of acres of old London, and a sickening carve up of the bowels of the Station. To see the old approach road, its shops and its architecture, destroyed for the sake of the Eurotrain was one of the worst travesties I've endured. Add to that the mass excavation under the platforms, and then the biggest carbuncle of a terminal added to the train sheds. The perfect criminal act. I was hoping the Station would fall down around them in answer to the devastation, but it still stands.
Charles (of London Town)
E-Mail Charles at: email@example.com