Long sections of Great Portland Street fall within two Westminster City Council areas of preservation (Harley Street Conservation Area and East Marylebone Conservation Area). Great Portland Street was developed by the Dukes of Portland, who owned most of the eastern half of Marylebone in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was first mentioned as John Street in 1726. Great Portland Street separates different areas with very distinct identities, such as the grandeur of Portland Place and Harley Street, and the artistic and independent areas of Fitzrovia. The street has its own unique character, due in part of the unusual combination of small shops combined with the strongly rectilinear character of Great Portland Street. Edward Harley – Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, and married to Lady Henrietta Cavendish – was responsible for the development of the Portland Estate, which commenced with Cavendish Square in 1717 and grew north and east. Great Portland Street's name is clearly derived from the estate and several other street names in the area are also related to the area's ownership, albeit less obviously.
The station was part of the world's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, which opened between "Bishop's Road" (now Paddington) on the Hammersmith & City line and "Farringdon Street" (close to the present-day Farringdon station). It was opened on 10 January 1863 as "Portland Road", renamed "Great Portland Street and Regents Park" in 1923 and changed to its present name on 1 March 1917. The current structure was built in 1930 on a traffic island on the Marylebone Road at its intersection with Great Portland Street and Albany Street. Its construction is a steel framed cream terracotta clad exterior, with the perimeter providing shops and originally a car showroom with office space over the station. Great Portland Street was at a major sales location for the motor industry. It was designed by the architect C.W. Fowler and Grade II listed in January 1987. It is close to the medical practices at Harley Street. The station has a bridge and wi-fi.
Connections: Circle, Hammersmith & City Line. London Buses routes 18, 27, 30, 88, 205, 453 and C2 and night routes N18 and N205 serve the station.