67. The old entrance to Highbury & Islington
Another rule I’ve adopted for this blog, but which perhaps I ought to have made clear earlier, is that I’m not bothering with disused stations.
That’s not because they’re not great, don’t cut it architecturally, can’t hold their own against current stations, or don’t command a rich enough history or atmosphere.
No, it’s simply because if you start, where do you stop? I could fill a good third of my 150 with parts of buildings or sites of former buildings or buildings that used to be this but are now used for that, and so on.
Besides, I’ve always intended this to be a celebration of living things, rather than the dead or dying.
So as I said, no disused stations.
Apart from this one.
I’m allowing it for two reasons: one, it’s an old entrance to a current station (an exemption I’ve made once before); and two, the building is still in use: it contains signalling equipment for the Victoria line.
It also happens to look absolutely gorgeous, having had its 1904-vintage exterior restored in 2006. That lettering is simply beautiful. There’s astonishing attention to detail, both in the graceful curves and exquisite finishing. It’s an alphabetical soupcon of yesteryear.
Meanwhile the present entrance to Highbury and Islington faces opposite, across the road, and looks awful.
I know which side of the street I’d rather be on.
So very true. I used to pass this every day on the way to work and wish that it was this entrance everyone was using. The entrance / ticket hall to H&I across the road is ridiculous given the number of lines (and therefore people) that pass through there.