Central Station, Newcastle designed by John Dobson (1787-1865). Façade: 600 feet long and 40 feet high. The original design and accompanying model, with columns (as pictured) instead of pilasters, won a Medal of Honor for Dobson in Paris (1855). This image comes from the 10 August 1850 issue of the Illustrated Evening News. Queen Victoria officially opened the station 19 days later — on 29 August 1850.

Dobson's station has an important place in the history of railway station design: Acccording to Carol Meeks, it was one of the first to have electric lighting (78), and at the same time, it was "the last monumental one-sided station . . . and with this dinosaur, the type became extinct in England" (31). Although some contemporary critics disliked the building, Meeks praises it as "one of the Dobson's finest works and one of the most imposing stations of the period" (59-60).

Thomas Prosser later designed the present "stone-built façade interrupted by a colossal porte-cochere [a porch large enough for a carriage to pass through] which projects boldly from it" (Meeks, p. 59), and he substituted pilasters for Dobson's original columns — GPL and JB

Related Material

References

Meeks, Carol L. V. The Victorian Railroad Station: An Architectural History. New Haven: Yale UP, 1956.


Victorian Web Homepage Visual Arts Victorian Architecture Victorian Railways

Last modified 21 July 2006