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Great Portland Street Station – An Iconic Slice of London’s History

May 1, 2018    |   Panny Antoniou

Part of the World’s first underground railway, Great Portland Street Tube Station is a building with a lot of history.

The site of the station which is now known as Great Portland Street Station was originally opened on 10th January 1863 as ‘Portland Road’, it was part of the Metropolitan Railway which opened between Bishop’s Road (which is now Paddington Station on the Hammersmith and City Line) and Farringdon Street which is located near the present-day Farringdon Underground Station. The station went through a number of name changes over the years, finally becoming known as Great Portland Street station in 1933.

The current structure which stands on the site was built on a traffic island between Marylebone Road, Great Portland Street, and Albany Street. The building was completed in 1930 and when it originally opened, there was a car showroom above the ticket hall, reflecting the significance which Great Portland Street had on the motorcar trade at the time. Indeed, as noted in a previous blog post on the area, the Retail Motor Industry Federation are still based on the street!

The building is iconic in London and features faience elevations, and a distinctive elliptical shape. It was built on what was previously regarded as waste ground, a leftover sliver of land belonging to the Crown after the construction of New Road in the 1750s. The original station also featured large fenestrated, domed rotundas which were used for ventilation – this was the grandest feature anywhere on the then Metropolitan Railway and the current building has kept some of that characteristic charm.

The distinctive, ovular Great Portland Street Station building was designed by C. W. Clark who designed many of the Metropolitan Railway’s stations. The building was Grade II listed in January 1987, and also holds the distinction of being a building of national significance according to Government sponsored conservation group Historic England.

Needless to say, office space in this famous and historic building is highly sought after. Here at RIB, we are delighted to market a first floor office in this iconic building – featuring 360 degree views, this self-contained office has a number of character features. For more information on this stunning property, please have a look at our listing.

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