St Pancras' famous frontage emerges again! - Monday February 28 2011
After a decade or so shrouded in builders' screens and with its zig-zag carriage road occupied by construction plant, delivery lorries and a community of double deck portable buildings, St Pancras' famous Euston Road frontage is emerging again.
The cabins have gone, the lorries' job is done and the carriage road is emerging again in readiness for the hotel's reopening - for the first time since the 1930s.
I shot the two snaps at the end of this blog this morning en route to a meeting. The carriage road has new setts and will be a very attractive public space when it opens. The hotel is due to open in May.
Changing tastes meant that the mighty Midland Grand, opened in 1884, was a spent force by the 1930s and it closed as a hotel in 1935. It was reborn as St Pancras Chambers and served as offices first for the London Midland & Scottish Railway until 1948 and Nationalisation, and from then by BR until 1988, when it lost its fire certificate and closed. It narrowly escaped demolition in the 1970s/80s and one of the last acts of BR was to spend £10m making the Gothic structure weatherproof before privatisation.
I did a feature about St Pancras ten years ago when restoration I side was just getting under way and I'm going back soon for a feature looking at it now. I shall be taking the 'before' pictures with me to shoot some 'after' scenes now. I'll tell you when the feature is due.
Meanwhile, these pics give a flavour of what the unveiled hotel will look like.
I'm really looking forward to it.