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Racism Or Slavery

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Rail Termini of London

The early19th century was a period of prosperity for the city of London. Beginning with the acceleration of growth in the 18th century, London found itself to be the largest city in the world by the early 19th century. To accommodate this increase in population and crowding, alternative methods of transportation were in demand. As a result, the emergence of transport by train was developed. Some of London's most important rail stations were developed at this time creating an extensive network of rails that would stretch in all directions from London to the rest of England and are still very active today.

Euston Station

Although the present station building is in the International Modern style, Euston was the first inter-city rail station built in London. The original station looked very different than the current structure. Its Greek Revival Doric portal, "Euston Arch", introduced the concept of a monumental railway station as the modern portal to a city. Its loss helped galvanize the environmental conservation movement in Britain, which had previously been focused on preserving picturesque vernacular architecture and unspoiled landscapes (Betjeman 124).

The original station was opened on July 20, 1837, as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway constructed by Robert Stephenson. It was designed by a well-known classically trained architect, Philip Hardwick, with a 200-foot long engine shed by structural engineer Charles Fox. Initially it had only two platforms, one for departures and one for arrivals. Until 1844, trains had to be pulled up the hill to Camden Town by cables, as they did not have enough power to get there under their own steam (Betjeman 125).

The station grew rapidly over the following years as traffic increased. It was greatly expanded in the 1840s, with the opening in 1849 of the spectacular Great Hall, built in classical style. It was 125 feet long, 61 feet wide and 62 feet high, with a coffered ceiling and a sweeping double flight of stairs leading to offices at the northern end of the hall. A 72-foot high Doric arch was erected at the station's entrance to serve as a portico; this became renowned as the Euston Arch (Symes 78).

In the early 1960s it was decided that the old building was no longer adequate and needed replacing. Amid much public outcry the old station building (including the famous Euston Arch) was demolished in 1962 and replaced by a new building, which opened in 1968. The modern station is very much a creation of 1960s architecture. It is a long, low structure with a frontage of some 647 feet and a very functional (and windswept) concrete exterior. Part of the station building includes two office towers, which look out onto adjacent Melton Street and Eversholt Street (Betjeman 126). The station itself has a single large concourse populated with the usual assortment of shops and eateries, separated from the somewhat bleak train shed. A couple of small remnants of the older station were kept, close to Euston Road, but were hardly an effective concession to those offended by the loss of the former building. The station is set back much further than the 19th century original and since the construction of additional office buildings in front of it, it is effectively screened from view from the road (Betjeman 124).

Euston is widely regarded as the most unattractive and unpleasant of all of the Central London rail termini. The dark ramps, which passengers have to descend from the concourse down to platform level, seem claustrophobic to many, while the concrete-adorned square outside the entrance is a popular stamping ground for beggars who also frequent the station concourse itself. It is unfortunate that this is the first view that many visitors and tourists get of London.

Liverpool Street Station

Liverpool street is perhaps the most successful example of 20th century renovation of a 19th century structure, allowing modernization and a better station environment, whilst still retaining much of the grand architecture befitting of a major terminus. Funded by the Great Eastern Railway, Liverpool Street Station was at the forefront of a boom in the promotion of railway schemes, which affected not just London but the whole country. Robert Sinclair was the engineer on the undertaking, and also served as the locomotive superintendent (Wendel 15). Assisting him was fellow engineer G.F. Bidder. However, in 1868 before ground had been broken, Robert Sinclair decided that he was to retire yielding the position to Edward Wilson who would also serve as chief engineer and locomotive superintendent. Ground was broken in October of 1871, and would continue until 1875 creating what is now known as the western train shed covering platforms 1-10 and an L-shaped block of station accommodation and offices. These offices face the station approach road with a short return facade on Liverpool Street. The office building was built in a Gothic style with dimensions of 67 ft high with the exception of two blocks that are both 90 ft high. The building material used was primarily a white Suffolk brick with stone dressings from the Bath region. Apart from the way in which the main elevation is broken up, and the skyline given interest, the most notable feature of the building is the range of second floor windows, each with two lights united under a pointed arch further exemplifying its Gothic elegance (Betjeman 45-48).

Constructed of brick, the actual station seems to be a bit uninspiring with its yellow gault brick and bath stone. It has gothic detail that complements the architecture of the office building. The layout of the station was very irregular for its time. It could essentially be described as a compromise between two traditions (Betjeman 47). The King's Cross Station had its booking office midway along one side of the station so that departing passengers could proceed from purchasing their ticket to boarding the train. While this was the predominant design early on, stations were slowly changing their design so that the booking office was at the head of each platform to accommodate the larger crowds. This was implemented in response to the growing popularity of rail transportation. In the design for Liverpool Street, there were booking offices at each of the platforms for the more intensive suburban service lines and an office for the two main line platforms that serve trains traveling longer distances (Bryan Liverpool 2).

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Liverpool Street Station is its exceptional gothic roof design. It required three 80 ft scaffolds costing Ј19,850, five times the amount spent for scaffolds to install the roof at St. Pancras Station. The roof at Liverpool Street consisted of

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