Daily Mail: For years it has stood empty, its echoing corridors and soaring arches crumbling gently to dust.
But the hotel Sir John Betjeman once described as 'too beautiful to survive' has now been restored to its former gothic glory - twinned, of course, with the super-slick accoutrements of 21st century travel.
St Pancras Renaissance - formerly the Midland Grand - is already an iconic London landmark, a fairytale fantasy of redbrick and turrets overlooking one of the world's great stations.
Add to this a £150 million ($240 million) decade-long transformation, a restaurant run by one of Britain's top chefs plus an in-house spa, and you've got the makings of something rather special. The hotel will officially open on May 5, 138 years to the day since it threw open its glamorous halls to an awe-struck public for the first time.
It was built by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the leading Victorian architect whose signature style was gothic revival at its most lavish. He created a labyrinth of sumptuous colour characterised by an obsessive attention to detail.
Tragically, the original incarnation of the hotel only lasted for 62 years before closing in 1935. It was then converted into offices and was only saved from demolition by the intervention of Betjeman and protests from a public very attached to the hotel's distinctive edifice.
But the victory was a temporary respite. In 1988, it was abandoned, the doors shut on the golden age of railways and their palatial hotels. Languishing in a derelict hinterland, it seemed only a matter of time before the bulldozers once again loomed large for the Midland Grand.
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