A stroll down the road

Euston Station, part 4

I promised in my blog Growing pains … (posted 10 Jul 2012) in this and the next blog I will look in more detail at what will be lost in the neighbourhood around Melton Street and Cardington Street, if Euston Station is rebuilt for HS2 as currently proposed. The best way to do this I think is to take an imaginary stroll from Euston Road, along Melton Street and into Cardington Street.

The map of the area around Melton Street below has been extracted from profile information prepared for the area by the London Borough of Camden, to which I have added additional labels in blue. The red line indicates the extent of the expanded station footprint.

Map of the Melton Street area (Source: L B of Camden)

If we start our imaginary walk at the Euston Road end of Melton Street, the first building we will see is the magnificent Neo-Grecian edifice of 30 Euston Square.

30 Euston Square

This building was designed for the London, Edinburgh and Glasgow Assurance Company by Beresford Pite, and is constructed to the standards of quality that the status of such companies demanded in the Edwardian era. It dates from 1907, with some later additions, and is Grade II* listed (signifying a “particularly important building of exceptional interest and of outstanding importance”). Later this year it will become the home of the Royal College of General Practitioners, following a £20 million renovation, and will also be used as a conference and events venue. The planned expansion of Euston Station for HS2 will require at least some of this building to be demolished and the viability of the remainder must be in doubt.

The next building that we will encounter on our walk up Melton Street is just visible in the photograph of 30 Euston Square; it is the greyish office block just behind the blue car. It is called Walkden House and is a fairly uninspiring product of late 1950s architecture. Ironically it is the headquarters of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, which has plans to redevelop the site. However the entire site lies within the expanded footprint of Euston Station.

Stephenson Way, which runs behind Walkden House, has Wolfson House on its western side. This fairly large modern edifice is part of the campus of University College London and houses the Galton Laboratory. Virtually all of this building lies within the expanded station footprint.

Also within the footprint in this block are the period buildings that house the forty-bed Cottage Hotel; this is a family-run business that only opened last year. Whilst it lies just outside of the expanded station footprint, the MIC Hotel and Conference Centre is bound to be, at the very least, badly affected by the construction work.

Returning to our walk along Melton Street, we have reached the junction with Euston Street. On the corner after we cross Euston Street is the five-storey Senator office equipment showrooms; this is just part of a whole block that falls within the extended station footprint. The showrooms are a 2007 conversion from a former textile warehouse by architects Halliday Clark.

Also within this block, and seen in the photograph below, are two early nineteenth century terraced houses at 14-15 Melton Street; these are Grade II listed (signifying “buildings of special interest which warrant every effort to preserve them”). The interiors have been modernised and converted into three apartments.

14-15 Melton Street

Also visible in the photograph is a maroon (or more correctly “oxblood”) tiled building, which is an interesting part of the history of London’s Underground. When it was opened in 1907 it was the entrance to Euston Station on the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway. It was designed by the celebrated Leslie Green and is typical of his Arts and Crafts style. Sadly, it was closed in 1914 and has remained sealed up and unused since. I have been amazed to find that this building does not appear to have been listed. It stands at the junction of Melton Street and Drummond Street, at the point where Melton Street becomes Cardington Street, forming the north-eastern corner of the block that will be absorbed into the footprint of the expanded Euston Station. Also within this block are a large retail photographic store (Calumet), the dwellings in Cobourg Street which the London Borough of Camden has indicated in light blue on its map and the Bree Louise public house.

Old entrance to Euston Underground

Acknowledgement: The Ordinance Survey data which the London Borough of Camden used to produce its map has been reproduced in accordance with the principles of fair dealing as set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.  On this basis, this mapping is:

Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO.

© Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Roger Waller on July 18, 2012 at 11:06 am

    A very interesting short tour, if the day job dries up!!!! Is nothing seen as worth preserving these days?


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