From the archive (1980): Portico for Posterity


Soon after the opening of the London & Birmingham Railway to Rugby in 1838, before the addition of the hotel
In course of restoration in 1980 by R. Bridgeman & Sons Limited. The hotel building was on the left in both illustrations

STONEWORK of the impressive former entrance building of Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, is being restored and cleaned as part of a six month programme of renovation under the direction of City of Birmingham Planning Department. The contractor, R. Bridgeman & Sons Limited (Lichfield-based member of the Linford Building Group), is replacing mouldings and making-good stone facing exposed when a hotel, added to the north wing in early days, was demolished.

The entrance was designed by Philip Hardwick (1792-1870), who also was the architect of the original Euston Station, and was erected for the opening of the London & Birmingham Railway in 1838. Now listed as a Grade 2 building of architectural and historical interest, it features a lofty Ionic tetrastyle portico which is comparable in scale and magnificence to Hardwick’s late lamented Doric arch at Euston.

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Curzon Street Station was closed to regular passenger trains in 1854, when the extension to New Street was completed. Between 1854 and 1893 Curzon Street dealt with holiday excursion trains, but survived as a goods depot and offices until 1968. Today, British Railways Parcels Depot stands at the rear of the old building which, while remaining as an imposing reminder of Birmingham’s first main terminus, is to enjoy a fresh lease of life by housing a variety of community organisations.

Philip Hardwick’s impressive entrance to Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, present day (Google Street View, 2020)

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