The London Underground maybe a functional and sometimes frustrating piece of infrastructure for some, but for others it’s an architectural gem known the world over. Being over 150 years old, and made up of various former Victorian companies, the Tube has some of the most varied and interesting architectural designs of any mass transit system. None more prominent than the stations of Leslie Green.
In 1903 Leslie Green (born 1875) was appointed chief architect of the newly formed Underground Electric Railways Company of London who were busy in the process of building 3 new lines through the capital: Great Northern, Picadilly & Brompton Railway (Piccadilly Line), The Baker Street & Waterloo Railway (Bakerloo Line) and the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (Northern Line – Charing Cross Branch). Leslie Green was tasked with designing the stations for all 3 lines.
Green designed the stations in a bold uniform ‘Arts & Crafts’ style so that they would be instantly recognisable for the UERL’s new customers. Each station was constructed around a steel two story frame, with ox-blood red tiled façades with large semi-circular windows above wide entrance/exit gates. This December (2014) I went to take a closer look at some of the examples surviving on today’s Northern Line.