Covent Garden Station

London, United Kingdom | C.1907

Photo Credit: Timothy Desouza

This London Underground station in Covent Garden at the West End of London on the Piccadilly line was built in 1907. The station is has been listed as a Grade II building and currently is situated on corner of Long Acre and James Street between Leicester Square and Holborn stations.

The station was created by the Great Northern and Strand Railway, which had received parliamentary approval for a route from Wood Green station (now Alexandra Palace) to Strand in 1899. After a formal merger of rail companies, the station was opened by the newly formed Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway in April 1907, four months after services on the rest of the line began operating.

In 1929, Covent Garden was suggested for closure in order to improve both reliability and journey times for long-distance commuters. The station was less utilized than surrounding stations, making it an easier closure. However, but due to community demands and action, it remained in operation.

Standing today, the station is a classic red ‘Oxblood’ building which has two entrances that face onto James Street and Long Acre. The street level station building and platform tiling were designed by Leslie Green who was responsible for designing the other station facades of the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway.

The platform wall was tiled with two shades of yellow and white tiling which formed geometric shapes along with three blank spaces to incorporate the station name. As part of Transport for London’s investment program, the aging tiling dating back from the station’s opening was replaced in 2010 in a like-for-like basis, retaining the look and feel of the platform’s tradition. Today commuters can make their way to the underground tube platform by taking newly installed elevators, or courageously walking down 193 stairs.

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