St. James’s Park is a lovely station, and so it should be, as it is in the basement of 55 Broadway, which was built by Charles Holden in 1929 as the headquarters of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London which later became London Underground. Alas it is no longer used as HQ which, I believe, is now in Canary Wharf. ‘55’ itself was seen as London’s first skyscraper when it opened and, while that seems a bit of a stretch, it is a glorious and very imposing building clearly related to Holden’s Tube stations and his later Senate House for the University of London. The not so little boy in the ‘Day’ fresco is an unlucky chap in that the awesome length of his penis caused such scandal and outrage that pioneering UERL MD Frank Pick had to offer his resignation (which wasn’t accepted) and the only solution was for Jacob Epstein, who sculpted both the ‘Night’ and ‘Day’ frescoes, to return with hammer and chisel and lop off a couple of inches.
The station ticket hall effectively forms an extension of the beautiful headquarters lobby and it must have been a wonderful way to arrive at work for the people who ran the whole mighty system from here. I believe the HQ building is now up for sale and I do hope, whatever becomes of it, that it is preserved. Surely it would make a perfect home for the London Transport Museum.
Reflecting general confusion about how to handle the possessive form for English singular nouns that end with an ‘s’, the station has been called ‘St James’s Park’, St. James’ Park’ and St. James Park since it opened in 1868.