Railway Company’s offices. Many of its original features were removed or concealed. Threatened with demolition in the 1960s, it was saved as a significant example of Victorian Gothic architecture and assigned Grade 1 listed status by English Heritage. However, it was vacated in the 1980s due to inadequate fire standards. London and Continental Stations and Property, the current owner of the building (2001), has undertaken extensive structural and external and internal restoration works. These have revealed original decoration such as mosaics, ornamental ceiling panels, and stenciling. The railroad shed survives intact and remains a bustling London terminus.

See also

Galerie des Machines (Gallery of Machines); Paddington Station

Further reading

Meeks, C. L. V. 1956. The Railroad Station. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Radford, John B. 1983. Midland Line Memories: A Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line. Kent, UK: Midas Books.

Simmons, Jack. 1968. St. Pancras Station. London: Allen and Unwin.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

London, England

St. Paul’s Cathedral in the city of London, created by the astronomer, mathematician, and designer Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1723), is the crowning work in the large oeuvre of one of the greatest English architects of his time, perhaps of all time. With it, English architecture regained the tradition of construction that it had developed for 400 years, and that had been displaced temporarily by Italian theories of proportion and emphasis upon appearance. Although it clearly drew upon classical and Italian models, Wren’s great church was primarily concerned with space and the structural systems that achieved it.

The earliest church on the site was a wooden structure built in a.d. 604 by King Ethelbert of Kent for Mellitus, first bishop of the East Saxons. It burned down in 675 and was replaced by Bishop Erkenwald in 685, only to be destroyed by Viking raiders seven years later. Again rebuilt, it was again destroyed by fire in 1087. A new Norman church, now known as Old St. Paul’s, was completed in 1240 after 150 years in the building. It was consecrated in 1300. A Gothic choir was added by 1313, and the following year a 489-foot (150-meter) spire was completed.

By the beginning of the seventeenth century, the cathedral had fallen into disrepair and disuse. In 1633 Inigo Jones, Surveyor of the Royal Works, was instructed to restore it. He had renovated the transepts and nave in the “modern” classical style and added a classical portico to the west front, when in 1642 England was divided by the civil war. Cromwell’s Roundhead troops commandeered St. Paul’s and deployed the nave as cavalry barracks, stabling their horses in the chancel. They dismantled Jones’s scaffolding and sold the timber. During the Commonwealth (1649–1660) little changed and the building was being used as a public market. But in 1662, after the monarchy had been restored, King Charles II undertook its reinstatement as a cathedral. Temporary repairs were made to the choir so that services could recommence, and a Royal Commission was established to determine the structural condition of the building. In 1663 Wren was asked to make proposals for the restoration. His plan, which recommended the continuation of Jones’s program and included his first design for a dome, was accepted on 27 August 1666. A week later the Great Fire swept through two-thirds of London, destroying over 13,000 houses and nearly ninety parish churches. Old St. Paul’s was affected, and at first Wren thought that a new church could incorporate the existing nave walls. But in 1668 some of the masonry collapsed, and it was decided to start again. The Norman church was demolished.

In 1668 Wren was commissioned to design the new St. Paul’s, and in 1669 he was installed as Surveyor to the King’s Works. His original scheme, which can still be seen in the “First Model” of 1670, was approved by the king. By 1673, however, the design was rejected by the church because it “was not splendid enough.” Wren responded with a spectacular alternative presented to the conservative dean and chapter of St. Paul’s. It showed a domed church in the shape of a Greek cross (in which all arms are of equal length). It, too, was rejected by the clergymen, who thought it too modern and too Roman. Wren