Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Excellent short introduction
on 25 December 2010
A book about a station may not sound too promising. This is a pleasant surprise, though, as it is about one of the most striking buildings of its type in the country and the writing style is excellent for a general reader, combining appropriate detail with a light touch. The chapters cover the Gothic style of building (the hotel fronting on Euston Road is an example), the train shed (which covers the platforms), the relationship between engineers (who built railways and sometimes stations) and architects (who had increasing influence over time), and the Midland Grand (who commissioned the whole thing). The final chapter, now a little dated, is about plans to restore the buildings in the 21st century.
A regret for me was that the paperback copy only has black and white photos but a Google search can help in that respect (type in "St Pancras Midland Grand"). I note one of the other reviewers refers to the scholarly treatment of the Gothic style and this dragged a bit for me as well, but fear not - you can simply jump ahead a bit and start the next section or chapter without any disadvantage; the chapters are relatively self-contained.
Otherwise, however, this was an enjoyable account that taught me more about architecture, engineering, hotel design and railway history without boring me! If you've ever passed through St Pancras or wondered about the building on Euston Road, I would recommend this as a good and informative read.