Lambeth Council has welcomed the news that the Department of Culture has given Waterloo Station's Victory Arch listed building status.
This imposing arch was built by the London & South Western Railway between 1919 and 1922. The statutory listing means that its special historic interest must be carefully considered before any alterations are agreed.
Adorned with a balustraded parapet and rusticated stonework, the arch was designed as the main pedestrian entrance to the terminus at the head of an impressive flight of steps. Bronze plaques record the names of 585 employees of the London and South Western Railway who lost their lives in the First World War.
Around the arch are the names of the greatest fields of battle and above the steps is a magnificent clock framed by a sunburst. An imposing statue of Britannia surmounts the Arch and the steps are flanked by stone obelisk pylons with iron lamps.
"This is a welcome and long overdue recognition of the architectural and historic importance of this London landmark, arguably the grandest Edwardian terminus in England," said Lambeth Council Conservation Officer Edmund Bird.
The Council notes the rejection of its advice that Waterloo station in its entirety should be listed because of its architectural and historic interest. Significant features include the monumental façade facing Waterloo Road, the fine south-west screen to the train-shed facing Lower Marsh and the elegant curving concourse buildings which incorporate the domed display cases and Ionic columns in the information office.
The council says that it remains committed to working with Railtrack to ensure that any future refurbishment of the station both preserves the best architectural features and increases passenger capacity.
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