Arsenal tube station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR) as Gillespie Road on 15 December 1906. The GNP&BR was later renamed the Piccadilly line after the consolidation and nationalisation of the Tube network as London Underground. The original station building and ticket hall were red terracotta-clad buildings designed by Leslie Green, similar to neighbouring stations such as Holloway Road and Caledonian Road. At the time of Gillespie Road's construction, it served a residential area and a local divinity college. In 1913, Arsenal Football Club moved to Highbury on the site of the college's playing fields, and the club's presence there eventually led to a campaign for a change of name. Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman was a particularly keen advocate, and on 5 November 1932 it was renamed Arsenal (Highbury Hill). The (Highbury Hill) suffix was dropped from the station's name some time around 1960, giving the current name of Arsenal. The original tiled walls of the platforms still bear the Gillespie Road name, spelt out in large letters
When the station was built, the station building was squeezed incongruously between residential properties on each side, occupying the width of just two terraced houses. Even after the surface building was rebuilt in the early 1930s and widened, with a further house being demolished, it has one of the narrowest frontages of any underground station. Unusually for a "deep level" tube station, Arsenal possesses neither escalators nor lifts. Instead, a sloping passageway leads down to the platforms. This is due to the combination of the tunnels being both relatively shallow at this point and being some distance from the station entrance (being underneath the East Coast Main Line). Due to short flights of stairs at both ends of the passageway the station is NOT wheelchair accessible. When the station was rebuilt in the early 1930s an extra tunnel was dug to platform level from the main access passage in anticipation of increased traffic, which is now used to handle the large crowds on match days. The station has a "tidal" system unique on the Underground network, with a narrow section on one side divided from the main passageway by a full-height fence. The station has wi-fi and help points.
Connections: London Bus routes 4, 19, 29, 91, 106, 153, 236, 253, 254 and 259 and night routes N19, N29, N91, N253 and N279 serve the station at nearby Blackstock Road.