One of the world’s greatest buildings in the Gothic architectural style
Commissioned by the Midland Railway Company to accompany the St Pancras terminal, architect Sir George Gilbert Scott won the commission in a vigorously contested competition in 1865. The original brief was for a 150 room hotel, but none of the judging panel seem to have minded that George’s design ran to 300 rooms. Nevertheless some cut-backs and modificaions has to be made, and after numerous delays and set backs, the hotel opened for business in 1873, only two years before the death of its architect.
As the hotel pre-date the system of en-suite bathrooms, it fell out of vogue, and was latterly taken up as office space for railway-related companies; in the 1980s, the building failed its fire certificate and was closed down, remaining empty until the recent renovations.
St Pancras station has just been renovated and re-launched as the major terminal for the Eurostar, the hotel is already in redevelopment, with the space planned to take up hotel, apartment and retail facilities.
For a while back in the 80’s there was talk of condeming and tearing down the building, but common sense prevailed, and the building was awarded its Grade 1 listed status. Just as well really, as it is a magnificent edifice from every direction.