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Descendents of Rail Pioneer to Open New Council Offices in York


8:00am 26th January 2013

Direct descendants of York's Railway King, George Hudson, are to visit City of York Council's new offices and customer centre this Residents Festival weekend for a special tour of the landmark building and to re-open the George Hudson boardroom.

Designed by GT Andrews in 1840, West Offices on Station Rise was once York's original Railway Station and Hotel and the vision of York railway magnate George Hudson who later went on to become mayor of the city.

Following decades of neglect, the Grade II listed building has now been sympathetically and creatively restored and transformed into a modern office complex and customer centre. The £32m renovation project will see the council reduce the number of administrative buildings it occupies from 17 to 2 and is estimated to create savings of at least £17m over 25 years.

As part of the refurbishment, the original first floor George Hudson board room has been restored to its former glory. As a tribute to the visionary railway magnate, the new room will retain the George Hudson name and will be available for public and council meetings for up to 120 people.

Councillor Julie Gunnell, Cabinet member for Corporate Services, said: “It is very exciting that we have direct descendants of George Hudson coming to help us revive and continue his legacy in this way. I can’t wait to hear their stories about this legendary man and show them around the new building which retains much of the fabric and character of the original station and hotel.”

The descendants got in touch with the council following a call out for people sharing the name George or Georgina Hudson to visit the offices which are being opened for public previews during Residents Festival weekend. They are being treated to a private tour of the offices by Councillor Gunnell, assistant  director Tracey Carter and members of the architects and construction teams. They will then be invited to formally re-open the George Hudson boardroom in a simple ribbon cutting ceremony.

A wall plaque will be unveiled which bears a picture of Mr Hudson, bearing the text: George Hudson 1800-1871.

The ground floor of the offices will be open to the public as part of the Residents Festival weekend  - from 10am-4pm on Saturday 26 January and 11am-3pm on Sunday 27 January.

A special event will be organised later in the year for all rail enthusiasts after the opening of West Offices. 

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