Station arch may be raised from riverbed

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The Independent Online
MOST of Euston station's celebrated arch, whose demolition caused a storm of protest in the early 1960s, lies at the bottom of the river Lea in east London.

Fragments of the Victorian monument were used to plug a hole in the river bed near Bow. Now the architectural journalist and broadcaster Dan Cruikshank, who found the sunken stones, plans a campaign to have the Doric arch raised and reconstructed. Completed in 1839, the listed structure was destroyed in 1962 during reconstruction of the station. Even a high-powered delegation of protesters to Downing Street failed to save it.

The arch stood 77ft tall in front of the station as 'The Gateway to the North'. It obstructed the rebuilding of Euston but it could have been moved nearer the Euston Road. British Rail thought the cost too high.

After he presented a television programme about the arch last summer, Mr Cruikshank was contacted by Bob Cotton, a waterways engineer. He said he had noticed the arch coming down and made an offer for the Yorkshire Gritstone pieces to fill a hole in the river bed caused by erosion. The bulk of the arch, 4,000 tons, was dumped there.

Underwater scanning equipment and divers located the stones and a fluted section from one of the arches has been lifted out by crane. The find is featured in BBC 2's heritage series One Foot In The Past next Tuesday.