Welwyn Garden City station opened in 1926 to serve a town that was the second attempt at a “garden city” by the social reformer Sir Ebenezer Howard. Welwyn Garden City was designed around tree-lined boulevards with plenty of open green space and grass verges along every street – all part of Howard’s belief that the answer to industrialisation was to build well-planned towns that combined the best of the city and the countryside. Although his ideas were extremely influential, only two garden cities were ever built to Howard’s original designs in the UK.
The original station was demolished in 1990 to make way for the Howard Centre, a shopping centre that now incorporates the ticket hall and links to the original bridge and platforms. The town centre, with its shops, bars and restaurants, can be found on the streets immediately outside the Howard Centre, especially along the leafy Howardsgate Boulevard.