The Old Curzon Street Station Building
The 150 year old building is a Birmingham landmark and a significant piece of rail history.
A century ago passengers arriving into Birmingham could see the extant grand ‘Principal Building’ from at least half a mile away.
What is it?
Designed by Phillip Hardwick (15 June 1792 to 28 December 870) the station opened on 9 April 1838. The station was the first railway terminus serving the centre of Birmingham, built during a period of great significance and growth for the city.
The terminus included the first railway line connecting Birmingham to London, a significant milestone on joining the north to south.
The 112 mile long line took 20,000 men nearly five years to build, at a cost of £5.5 million. It has been estimated that to build the railway, the navvies shifted more material than the ancient Egyptians did when they constructed the pyramids.
It then became a single goods station following the opening of Birmingham New Street Station in 1854, which operated until the 1960s.
Archaeology at Curzon Street
During the final excavations on the site, the remains of the station’s roundhouse was exposed making it the world’s oldest railway roundhouse.
What will it become?
It will be linked to the new station’s eastern concourse at New Canal Street. The Grade I-listed original Curzon Street station will become a visitor centre and offices.
Public space will surround the new station which includes the area around the Old Curzon Street Station building. The design of the space will enhance the setting of the station and recognise the heritage of the site, in particular, the historic track alignments of the former goods yard that used to lie to its east.
The feature gardens and new eastern concourse façade have also been designed to complement the architecture of the existing Old Curzon Street Station building.
Curzon Promenade, the public spaces surrounding the new station, and the decision not to divert New Canal Street all retain and frame important views of the old station.
Neven Sidor, Lead Architect, Grimshaws, for Curzon Street Station:
Inspiring future stations
London Euston once had their own ‘Euston Arch’ which was matched by Curzon Street, the two mirroring each other. Repeating the original north-south connection, HS2 now aims to emulate this relationship.
Both HS2’s Curzon Street Station’s and Euston Station’s designs were inspired by the traditional railway arches.
“The elegant sleek low arch which will make the station instantly recognisable in the surrounding area and its warm coffered soffit will join the growing list of modern Birmingham icons.”