120 ships besides barges and other craft.” But London had overdeveloped new docks, and St. Katharine’s share of the traffic soon declined until it was left with only coastal and cross-channel traffic. Financial difficulties followed, and in 1864 the St. Katharine and London Dock Companies merged to take over Victoria Dock. Between the two World Wars, because ocean vessels were too large to berth there, St. Katharine Dock became a convenient storage facility close to the city of London for goods that were carried by lighters from vessels downstream. The dock and warehouses were badly damaged by incendiary bombs in the Blitz of 1940, and were never fully repaired. Upriver docks were far too small to deal with container vessels, and in the 1960s the Port of London Authority began to locate its functions at Tilbury.

In 1968 the Greater London Council (GLC) closed St. Katharine and London Docks and announced its plans to replace them with houses. The warehouses were in use until 1969, when the GLC acquired the site and invited redevelopment proposals. Seven developers presented plans for a trading and leisure facility, and the project was awarded to the Taylor Woodrow Property Company. They proposed (and built) a mix of privately and publicly owned apartments, a five-star hotel, a trade center, office buildings, restaurants, shops, and a marina, with a total of about 5,000 tenants and residents.

Further reading

Beckett, Derrick. 1987. Telford’s Britain. Newton Abbot and North Pomfret, UK: David and Charles.

Foster, Janet. 1999. Docklands: Cultures in Conflict, Worlds in Collision. London: University College London Press.

Ledgerwood, Grant. 1985. Urban Innovation: The Transformation of London’s Docklands, 1968–1984. Aldershot and Brookfield, UK: Gower.

St. Pancras Station

London, England

Built between 1863 and 1865 for the Midland Railway, St. Pancras Station has been described as the epitome of the railroad buildings that evolved following advances in iron technology in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was one of a number of London stations, including Victoria and Charing Cross, erected during the 1860s railroad boom, when national and international travel was becoming more popular. St. Pancras established Midland’s footing in the capital; coming as it did after other companies had erected their London terminals, it was deliberately intended to impress by its scale and architectural style. Its substantial train shed, designed by company engineer William Henry Barlow (1812–1902) with R. M. Ordish, achieved the widest single-arch span then built. This daring engineering accomplishment was unrivaled. Several years later, a grand Victorian Gothic, Revival hotel and terminus building was added to the front of the shed. Named the Midland Grand, it was designed by the eminent Gothic Revival architect George Gilbert Scott (1811–1878) and constructed between 1868 and 1876.

St. Pancras was built next to King’s Cross Station (1851–1852), the Great Northern Railway’s terminus designed by architect Lewis Cubitt. The dissimilar approach to the design of each station reveals a dilemma of the age—the functional station building was celebrated as an engineering triumph and a demonstration of technological and structural progress but was not popularly, or professionally, accepted as “real” architecture. King’s Cross exposed its function—a yellow brick facade with two arched windows flanking a central clock tower was effectively integrated with the sheds behind. The elaborate Midland Grand Hotel hid St. Pancras Station as if to suggest that only the former was acceptable for public display. The station proper was a mere shed, an industrial structure symbolic of a building type that did not fit neatly into the accepted definition of architecture. That divide between architecture and engineering would persist for several decades.

The St. Pancras train shed was an immense 700 feet (213 meters) in length. The roof, framed of wrought-iron trussed-lattice arches at 30-foot (9-meter) intervals, spanned 243 feet (74 meters), rising to a height of 100 feet (30 meters). The side walls were masonry, supported on masonry piers. Three-inch-diameter (76-millimeter) tension rods tied the feet of the arches below platform level. Iron and glass clad the roof frame. The train platform was at second-floor level, and the floor below was designed to