Hampstead tube building at Euston to be moved…

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The Charing Cross Euston and Hampstead (aka the Hampstead Tube) station building on the corner of Drummond and Melton Street will not be demolished, but rather relocated, according to what I gather (if it isn’t just a hearsay or something similar). The initial idea was to demolish it and replace it with a new head house building (or ventilation shaft facility, if you prefer) in Stephenson Way. Those plans are still on track, and construction on the Stephenson Way site is underway, with the shell of the real structure expected to go up soon. This is a major component of the Euston station tube complex’s refurbishment work in preparation for HS2.

Much of the ventilation work was previously carried out using gear housed within the old Hampstead tube station. As visitors began their Hidden London tours into the bowels of the tube station, I’m sure many would have noticed the equipment in that building and realised the facility was still doing sterling work for London’s underground.

Anyway, the Hampstead Tube building is in the way of the HS2 platforms therefore it can’t stay where it is. However, due to recent changes in plans for the new railway terminus (i.e., a slightly smaller terminus with fewer platforms), the somewhat different construction footprint required for the new arrangement will allow the old tube station to remain on site a little longer before being dismantled and relocated to the south side of Euston station piece by piece.

This is in itself a surprise as the building isn’t actually a listed structure. There have been appeals to have it listed without success. Clearly someone appears to have had a change of heart in deciding the building should be retained!

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Plans for the rebuild of the Euston taxi rank subways, showing how they would be repurposed. This from my A Euston station era ends #2. The southern entrance escalators would be the bit at the bottom. The Hampstead tube building would be a bit further south.

If you’re not familiar with the HS2 plans, let me just say that they’re difficult! I’ve tried to wrap my head around these as well and it’s not easy! To facilitate the development of the new station, a number of new tube entrances will be built (as well as enhance the ticket halls and connecting subways to both Euston and Euston Square tube stations.) There will be four new tube entrances (one of which will be the current Northern/Victoria Lines entry point at Euston, and while it will be new, it will be in fact a repurposed access point.) Another will be near the HS2 terminal, while one more will be on the south side of Euston Road – where Gordon Street is.

Its difficult to say how this relocation will work as there are no plans drawn up currently. Evidently the finer detail will be drawn up as the construction work progresses thus currently its difficult to envisage. But there is a location for our Hampstead tube building – and that was detailed to me when I met some of the contractors at Euston.

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The location where the new tube entrance will roughly be – with subways leading directly to Euston Square, the new ticket hall and the new HS2 station entrance. I featured these images in my A Euston station era ends posts.

That one other new access point is to be sited roughly where Eduardo Paolozzi’s sculpture was sited (I currently don’t know if that is to be retained or not.) This new tube entrance will have an important role because it will give direct access to the new bus stands to be built on the south side of the station perimeter (roughly where the current ones are.)

It seems current proposals are for the Leslie Green to be a feature opposite this point, where you know, escalators will be going down through the new piazza into the new interconnecting subways which will lead to the new Euston tube ticket hall as well as to Euston Square itself.

It means the old Hampstead tube station entrance will be repurposed as an emergency evacuation structure at this location (possibly as an additional ventilation facility too for all anyone knows.) Along with the pair of Doric gatehouses and the Euston Square memorial, any prospective rebuilding of the Euston Arch would, of course, imply that the southern forecourt of the station would have a sequence of historic structures all tied to the railway. If the Euston Arch were to return, it would complete the quartet; if not, there would be a trio of magnificent historic railway structures, which would lend a great deal of interest to what would otherwise be a newly constructed Euston Square Gardens.

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Enlargement of the HS2 development at the southern end of Euston station where the buses and gardens are sited. The whole area will be reshaped but it will retain elements visible today such as the pair of gatehouses and the Euston memorial. The location for the Hampstead tube buildings will be where the building is marked on the above diagram. The red square is indicative of where the southern tube entrance will be. This crop is made from a plan which can be seen on the Grimshaw Euston HS2 project page.

Evidently there are no plans as yet to illustrate this. However the intent is the Leslie Green building should not be demolished at all but rather given a new life as a repurposed historical structure that continues its work for the Euston station tube system complex.

If anyone thinks its the entire pair of buildings that are to be repurposed, its just the eastern section, the original ox blood tiled Leslie Green 1906-7 built section that will be reused. The later brick built western half will be demolished.

I have no idea how the tube building would be made to blend in with the new surroundings or how it would look. The plans mentioned above are just concepts; they are not final, and, like all new projects, they go through several stages of development. Not only that, all pre-existing demolition work and foundations and other stabilisation work must all be completed before any surface buildings can be introduced, so it will be some time before any clear and definitive plans emerge. I assume part of it could become a shop or cafe too as an extra facility to be found within the gardens.

I thought at one point it was inferred the building would actually be used as the new tube entrance to the southern escalators, but I think its unsuited for that purpose unless they intend to just use the façade with a bigger building behind it.

Meanwhile the Hampstead tube station will stay where it is, giving more time for people to admire the celebrated Leslie Green building in its original location!

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