The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Events Archive

55 Broadway – Last Chance to visit - FULLY BOOKED

Image for c20 website: Perspective of 55 Broadway drawn by Sir David Muirhead Bone 1927  credit TfL




55 Broadway – Last Chance to visit - Tuesday 21st January 2020 14.00 – 15.15 - FULLY BOOKED

TfL Offices, 55 Broadway, London SW1H OBD

Led by: Edmund Bird 

TfL will be vacating 55 Broadway the Grade I listed building by Charles Holden 1927-9 at the end of January 2020, so this is a last chance to see this very important and beautifully detailed building used for it’s original purpose. It was designed by Holden, with a lot of input from Frank Pick as the client, to be the headquarters of the Underground Electric Railways of London Ltd (which became London Transport in 1933), as well as housing St James’s Park Underground Station. 55 Broadway was the tallest office building in London when it opened, and won the RIBA London Architecture Medal in 1929.


Designed on a cruciform plan, the building is arranged to maximise daylight and street-facing views in each office and to ensure that the tower doesn’t overwhelm the modest character of the streetscape. Although the structure is of a reinforced concrete system, the materials on show are traditional. Adorning the building are ten hand-carved sculptures which were the source of some controversy in their time: two figures representing Day and Night, by Jacob Epstein, and eight figurative reliefs that represent the Winds for each cardinal point by a team of sculptors led by Eric Gill. A highlight of the tour is the visit to the 14th floor observation deck which is only accessible during daylight hours (though this may not be open in adverse weather conditions). 


Attendees will be given a commemorative illustrated booklet of the history and archive photos of the HQ.   TfL has requested a donation of £5 per head to its sponsored charity, Railway Children, who care for orphans and other homeless children living in and around railway stations of India and Africa.  We are happy to support this charity and have included £5 per head in the cost of this event.

Meet time/place: 2pm in the foyer of 55 Broadway offices/St. James Park underground station

Finish time: approx 3.15pm

Members’ price:   £15

Non members’ price: £20