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St James's Park station gets Grade I listing

1920s tube station and London’s first skyscraper given highest listed status.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

St James’s Park Underground station and the office block that towers above it it have been given Grade I listed status.

Following a review of stations by English Heritage, the site at 55 Broadway, which was London’s tallest office building when it opened in 1929 and is now the London Underground Headquarters, has been upgraded from Grade II to Grade I.

The change means the site is now among the top 2.5 per cent of listed buildings in England and is on a par with structures such as 10 Downing Street, Windsor Castle and the Severn Bridge.

Heritage Minister John Penrose said he “wholeheartedly agreed” with English Heritage’s decision. “When this building opened it would have represented the height of sophistication and a move towards the development of modernism,” Mr Penrose said. “I wonder just how many of the thousands of commuters that pass through the station every day are aware of the fantastic features all around them. From 1920 platform finishes to platform benches and the original timber kiosk it remains one of the most unaltered Underground stations on the network.”

The building, designed by architect Charles Holden, is also home to a number of pre-Second World War sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein.

Hannah Parham, Heritage Protection Advisor for English Heritage said: “The next time Londoners use St James’s Park station, I would encourage them to stop and pause. St James’s Park station and the London Underground Headquarters at 55 Broadway are truly jewels in London’s architectural and historic crown.  Combined, the buildings provide unequivocal Grade l listed quality.  Perhaps Charles Holden’s finest undertaking - it is complex yet subtle, avoids bulk, offers cutting-edge and provoking sculpture, and captures the spirit of architectural innovation.”

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Published 8 February 2011