Concerns Over Reported Plans To Revamp Liverpool Street Station

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 21 months ago

Last Updated 05 October 2022

Concerns Over Reported Plans To Revamp Liverpool Street Station
The concourse at Liverpool Street station
Could Liverpool Street station's concourse become 'Penn Station style stygian depths'? Image: M@/Londonist

There's concern over rumoured proposals to revamp Liverpool Street station — in a move that would seemingly demolish part of the current building, and build a 20-storey tower above part of the concourse.

Building Design recently reported that Sellar (developer of The Shard) is in communication with Network Rail (which owns Liverpool Street station), over a major revamp of the east London terminus, that would see the gothic-style 50 Liverpool Street building bulldozed for better access to the station, and a Herzog & de Meuron-designed block rise 20 stories above it.

The concourse would also, according to Building Design, be turned into two-levels.

The Victorian style gothic facade of Liverpool Street station
The 50 Liverpool Street building (to the right) would apparently be demolished. M@/Londonist

Some people are less than happy with the alleged plans, one Twitter user saying it'd reduce the Victorian station to "Penn Station style stygian depths" — a reference to New York City's ill-advised transformation of Penn Station in the 1960s.

There's also an outcry against suggestions that the ornate 50 Liverpool Street building (overlooking the forecourt with the Kindertransport sculpture) would have to go, to improve station access. Even though — As IanVisits points out — it was only actually built in the 1990s, it's a stunning piece of pseudo Victoriana, and aesthetically integral to the station facade.

The Victorian Society says it has already written to Network Rail, expressing "deep concern" about the future of the station.

What's actually being brewed up by Network Rail and Sellar is unclear. Sellar told Londonist "Plans are still being developed so it's too early to go into details at this stage," and we haven't heard back from Network Rail.

But you only have to look at what we lost of the old Euston station, to know that you can't be overcautious when it comes to this kind of architectural tinkering.