Our clarkitect

From: London’s Underground: The Story of the Tube (2019), by Oliver Green:

“…The Metropolitan Railway, still fiercely independent of the Underground, took a rather different approach to development after the First World War…

…Complete reconstruction of Baker Street station, the hub of the Metropolitan, had begun in 1910 and was almost complete in 1914. This included direct escalator interchange with the Bakerloo Tube station below, which had opened with a separate entrance from the Metropolitan station in 1906…

A new head office for the company was built alongside the new station; it was one of the first designs by Charles W. Clark, the Metropolitan’s recently appointed ‘architectural assistant to the engineer’. Clark was formally elevated to the position of company architect in 1921, and was fondly referred to by the chairman, Lord Aberconway, as ‘our clarkitect’. He designed about twenty-five new or rebuilt stations for the Metropolitan between 1911 and 1933, some of them prepared with detailed drawings during the war years but not built until the 1920s. His biggest project was Chiltern Court (see image), the giant block of mansion flats over Baker Street station, which eventually replaced the abandoned hotel project in 1929-30.”

From Wikipedia:

Charles Walter Clark (1885–1972) was an architect who worked for the Metropolitan Railway from 1911 to 1933 and was responsible for designing 25 stations, five of which are listed buildings today.

Born in 1885, he was educated at Emanuel School then worked for a year for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway before moving to the Met as assistant architect in 1910. After serving in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War I, he was appointed Architect by the Metropolitan Railway in 1921. Elected Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1930, he did not join the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933 when the Met was absorbed with the other London underground railways. He died in 1972.

Between 1911 and 1933 he designed 25 Metropolitan Railway stations, as well as designing houses in Metro-land and “Chiltern Court”, the large, luxurious block of apartments over Baker Street station, that opened in 1929. Central London stations were built in a Neoclassical style. These included Farringdon, Aldgate, Edgware Road and Paddington (all still extant today) together with Euston Square and Notting Hill Gate (both demolished). Rural stations, such as those at Watford, Croxley, Northwood Hills and Kingsbury were designed to set the tone for the local development.”

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