Euston Arch - London
Proposal for reconstruction - Actual building now demolished
The Euston Arch was completed in May 1838 and was the centrepiece of Euston Station, the world's first main line terminus in a capital city. Built on a huge scale, it symbolized modernity and new links between London and the north. It was the first great monument of the railway age, which Britain pioneered.
The arch was designed by Philip Hardwick in the Greek Revival style, standing 70 feet high. Being factually correct the structure was not an arch at all, but a propylaeum or 'gateway'. It was modelled on the famous Propylaeum at the Acropolis in Athens, built in c. 450 BC. But the arch was no copy or pastiche - it was an inspired interpretation of great refinement, also drawing on Roman buildings such as the gate to the Roman Agora in Athens. Yet the Euston Arch also, in its ingenious and pioneering construction, expressed pride and confidence in its own age. Although inspired by ancient Greek architecture and apparently of traditional masonry construction, the Arch was in fact modern in conception and incorporated much structural ironwork.
The Arch was demolished in 1962 after a failed campaign to save it, most of the stones from the Arch ended up at the bottom of a river in east London.
The model represents what the proposed rebuilt arch would look like, being built between the two lodges on Euston Square overlooking the Euston Road.The lodges are all that remain of the old station.
The model is made of plaster with details in etched brass. In the centre of the plinth can be seen the names of the locations where the trains from Euston used to serve. These names can be seen for real on the two lodges.
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