Further down the road

Euston Station, part 5

In my blog A stroll down the road (posted 14 Jul 2012) our imaginary walk to survey the buildings that will be swallowed up by the increased footprint of the proposed new Euston Station reached as far as the junction of Melton Street and Drummond Street, at the point where Melton Street becomes Cardington Street.

As I did for the first part of this walk, I have extracted a map of the area from profile information prepared for the area by the London Borough of Camden to which I have added additional labels in blue. Again, the red line indicates the extent of the expanded station footprint.

Let’s walk on.

The block on the corner of Cardington Street and Drummond Street is occupied entirely by the 380 room Hotel Ibis London Euston (for a photograph see Growing pains and suggestions for how to avoid them, posted 10 Jul 2012); all of this building lies within the extended Euston station footprint. The station boundary that has been drawn by HS2 Ltd runs along the centre of Cobourg Street, running parallel with Cardington Street one block further west. Not actually within this boundary, but within a few feet of it, the futures of the apartment block which Camden Council has shown in blue on its map (labelled “40-48 Cobourg Street/21-35 Starcross”) and the nearby Exmouth Arms public house must be in doubt.

Tucked away at the very end of Cobourg Street, and within the expanded station footprint, is the London studio of architects Jestico and Whiles. This is a sympathetic conversion of a late Victorian stables building, that housed horses employed in parcels delivery services from Euston Station. It is the only example to survive of three such buildings in the area, and has a number of interesting architectural features.

The Maria Fedelis RC Secondary School, whilst outside the footprint, is rather too close for comfort.

Maria Fedelis School (from St James’ Gardens)

West of the Ibis Hotel, Drummond Street is famous as a long-established centre of curry restaurants and Asian culinary supply businesses. It was the location of the first Patak’s store in the 1950s. Whilst these businesses are all located outside of the enlarged station footprint, the local community is very concerned about the impact that the construction works and permanently blocking Drummond Street off will have (see the article HS2 will drum us out of business, say Drummond Street curry bosses).

When we have walked further along Cardington Street, and have passed the Ibis Hotel, we reach an area of green on the left; this is St James’ Gardens. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of this green space lies on the wrong side of the western boundary of the new station.

This photograph is taken from the gardens and shows the grey outer wall of Euston Station on the far side of Cardington Street. The building on the extreme left is the 362 room Thistle Euston Hotel. This is the last building in Cardington Street and is almost totally on the wrong side of the new station boundary line.

St James’ Gardens

There are numerous clues to the origins of St James’ Gardens dotted about in the form of funeral monuments; it is a former burial ground for St James’ Piccadilly and has been a public garden since 1887.

Monuments in St James’ Gardens

HS2 Ltd advises that there are three Grade II listed monuments in St James’ Gardens. It proposes to “compensate” for the loss of the gardens by creating new open space “above the station concourse” and relocating the three monuments there. I expect that the locals would sooner keep their existing gardens.

There is however a further problem with St James’ Gardens; cemetery monuments are a fairly good indication that human remains are also present. The Daily Telegraph estimates that “up to 50,000 bodies will need to be exhumed” and quotes a spokesman for HS2 Ltd as saying that it was “really too early” to say how this little problem will be tackled. Presumably, a location more suitable than “above the station concourse” will be found.

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Peter Darley, Secretary of the Camden Railway Heritage Trust, for information on the origins of the Jestico & Whiles studio building.

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.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Luisa on July 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    If you look at the protected viewing cone of St. Paul’s Cathedral from Primrose Hill, I believe that the current Station towers flank either side of the Cathedral – effectively preventing any high rise from being located above the station concourse. So I suspect that the area you’ve just covered is where the tall buildings will go to make the development stack up. Drummond Street will become a canyon with tall buildings at either end of it – at one end on the extended station footprint and at the other end the fast completing Triton Building, and associated mid-rise slab, currently being added to the Eastern end of the overly corporate feeling Regent’s Place – see http://www.regentsplace.com/the-triton-building.aspx. What a shame for such a vibrant area this will be. Not to mention the loss of so many mature and semi-mature London Plane trees…..
    I understand that at a recent New London Architecture event one of Arup’s Directors said something along the lines of “Mitigation? No! Maximisation – from Euston to Paddington – a whole zone”. see http://www.newlondonarchitecture.org/news.php for further details. Thanks for the blog – you are doing a great job!

    Reply

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