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Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 9: Argyle Street

Two buildings I spotted on our December trip to Glasgow.

This one is on the corner of Argyle and Virginia Streets:-

This is the Argyle Street elevation:-

And this one is in Argyle Street. Stitched to get it all in:-

There are good “streamlining ” lines near the roof line:-

The scrolling is good, as is the fan shaping. And note the stepped roof line:-

The repeated scrolling and streamlining enhances the symmetry:-

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 36: Glasgow Film Theatre

Glasgow Film Theatre, also known as the GFT, is housed in one of those monolithic Art Deco buildings. Like the Rothesay Pavilion it’s unusual in not being rendered in white.

The entrance on Blythswood Street has great verticality:-

View from Renfrew Street:-

Blythswood Street elevation. Great tiling and columning, nice curve at top:-

Renfrew Street aspect. Good tiled doorways here and rectangular window housings. Note tiled pillar detailing in the rectangular box bit just below the roofline. Pity about the bins on the pavement!!

Renfrew Street roofline detailing. Again note tiled decorative pillar and curved element.

The building on Blythswood Street next to the GFT also has deco features with a great vertical element above the door. The top windows are good too:-

Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 7: Café Society (plus a bar)

Four years ago I featured the University Café in Byres Road in this category. In December 2014 I spotted two more examples of the deco style in Glasgow cafés.

This is the frontage of the Central Café in Saltmarket. Absolutely typical thirties lettering:-

And this is the King’s Café in Elmbank Street. Again typical lettering but note here the two lines to the left of the K of King’s and the underlining of ing’s and afé. This underlining motif is repeated in red on the glass of the lower window. The blue and gold lettering further up – not shown to best advantage here due to the street furniture – not to mention the curved lines, is also delightful:-

Right next door to King’s Café on the corner of Elmbank and Sauchiehall Streets (and directly opposite the Beresford Hotel) is the Variety Bar. Not perhaps true deco lettering but close enough:-

Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 6: Lewis’s, Argyle Street

Sadly what was Glasgow’s largest department store is Lewis’s no more. The good lady remembers it always had a great Christmas window. The ground floor is now taken up with shops of various kinds and the upper levels are occupied by Debenham’s.

East end, from Argyle Street. I couldn’t get back far enough to get it all in so this is a stitch:-

Argyle Street elevation:-

The windows have fine detail:-

West end from Argyle Street:-

Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 5: Sauchiehall Street

Apart from the Beresford Hotel, Sauchiehall Street had a couple of other Art Deco buildings. This is a stitch of Marks and Spencer’s:-

And here is a close-up showing some detail:-

Dunnes Stores is on the corner of Sauchiehall and Cambridge Streets:-

Roof-line and window detail:-

There is a lovely finish to the highest part:-

The ABC cinema predates deco – originally built in 1877 before conversion to a cinema in 1929 – but is still a fine building. (Two photos stitched to get it all in):-

The Scottish cinemas website says it is closed. It seems to house a music venue now.

Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 4: Odeon Cinema, Renfield Street

Once the Paramount, before it became an Odeon, this is a building which is not as glorious as it used to be.

Full view from Upper Renfield Street:-

Corner element from Renfield Street:-

Renfiled Street aspect. Note the two men abseiling down the frontage, perhaps cleaning it:-

Detail of corner frontage:-

This is still a stunning looking building even if it needs a lot of tlc. I believe, however, only the facade remains as the Scottish cinemas website records. Compare this with this.

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 4: The Beresford Hotel; Addendum.

In early December we were in Glasgow for two days.

I took the opportunity to photograph the Beresford Hotel in Sauchiehall Street for myself.

This is the front view, from Elmbank Street:-

And a close up on the entrance, showing some of the building’s detail:-

There is lovely glazing above the doorway and fine ribbing on the pillars and the red-painted walls.

This is a side view from Sauchiehall Street:-

Canadian Pavilion, Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938

Another postcard of a building from the 1938 Empire Exhibition held in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. Great central tower, nice curved frontage. The full length flag standards have nice detailing halfway up the building.

Glasgow School of Art

I was devastated to hear today of the fire at Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s masterpiece building, the Glasgow School of Art. (For pictures of the undamaged building see here.)

I have featured another of his buildings, Scotland Street School, here.

I have also visited the House for an Art Lover, built to Mackintosh designs in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park (on part of the site of the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938,) and Hill House in Helensburgh as well as the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow but all without benefit a modern camera. All are visually stunning.

I must confess to being a teeny bit annoyed when Lorna Gordon, BBC London’s Scotland correspondent, called the Art School an Art Deco building. None of Mackintosh’s buildings are Deco. They are leaning towards it, certainly, but really have more in common with Art Nouveau. At a pinch you could say they act as a bridge between the two styles. While some Mackintosh designs have the blend of horizontal and vertical that is a signifier of Art Deco he also had a strong liking for curves which grew firmly from the Art Nouveau tradition of evoking nature and natural forms.

I assume the plans for the School of Art are still in existence somewhere – and that there is insurance in place. Even if it is costly it is to be hoped that some sort of effort at restoration can be made to the Art School. The result may not be original but so few of Mackintosh’s designs were erected in his lifetime it would be tantamount to a crime to allow to disappear the outstanding example that was.

In the meantime, not just Glasgow, not only Scotland, but the world, is a poorer place to live in tonight.

Modern Glasgow 1

Glasgow seems to have a liking for bulbous grey architecture.

This started with the building whose construction saw it immediately dubbed the Armadillo. Its “Sunday” name is the Clyde Auditorium. It sits on the north bank of the Clyde in Finnieston right by the Crowne Plaza Hotel (where Eastercon was held this year) and the SECC and has certain structural similarities to the Sydney Opera House.

On the other side of the River Clyde lie more examples. The nearest to the camera here is Glasgow’s IMAX cinema. The other silvery building is the Glasgow Science Centre of which the tall white tower on the left is also a part.

This is a closer view of the IMAX. It looks like a giant silver slug. The entrance is on the other side.

And here’s the Science Centre closer up.

And the Science Centre from the north bank of the river. The paddle steamer Waverley is at anchor.

Better view of the Waverley, the last remaining ocean-going paddle steamer in the world.

Glasgow’s newest concert venue is the latest addition to the bulbous grey architecture fixation. It’s the Hydro.

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