October 7th, 2008
Travelling to London from the north-west of England and faced with Euston Road on emerging from the railway station, it is tempting to turn around and get back on the train. Luckily it is first possible to stand and admire the LCC Euston Fire Station, a delightful exercise in English free-style, functional architecture designed by the London County Council Architect’s department and completed in 1902.
Musing on the ‘lost city’ of the Arts and Crafts, Peter Davey wrote*:
…it could be the corner of a (very large) Arts and Crafts country house. It shows that, at its best, Arts and Crafts architecture knew no differentiation between public and private buildings and none between provision for the rich or the poor. The lost city of the Arts and Crafts movement would have been less grand than the Edwardian cities that were actually built. But it would have been a city with a human face; gentle, witty, occasionally dramatic, kind to its surroundings and responsive to the needs of its citizens.
Davey goes a bit too far in his projection of the benefits and intentions of Arts and Crafts but perhaps “gentle, witty and occasionally dramatic” is enough.
* Peter Davey, Arts and Crafts Architecture, Chapter 11 ‘The Lost City’