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HES demolish arguments for the loss of a historic Art Deco retail frontage

January 23 2023

HES demolish arguments for the loss of a historic Art Deco retail frontage

Moves to demolish a 1930's frontage at the former Marks & Spencer's former Sauchiehall Street to deliver hundreds of new homes could be halted following an intervention by Historic Environment Scotland.

In written evidence, the heritage body has advised that the original 1935/6 building and a later 1938 extension at 172-194 Sauchiehall Street should be 'retained and sensitively incorporated into any redevelopment of the site."

Notable for its use of white artificial stone the deeply moulded classical facade is considered to be a highlight of the street with hopes that fascia detailing may survive beneath black marble cladding, added at a later date to the ground floor.

Offering to meet Fusion Development Company and Matt Brook Architects halfway with facade retention, HES also advised that there should be a 'presumption against demolition' for a 'neutral' 1980s section of the same retail complex.

Commenting on the intervention Paul Sweeney MSP said: “This update and clarification from Historic Environment Scotland that there should be a presumption against demolition is warmly welcome. The façade of the old M&S unit contributes positively to Sauchiehall Street and is one of the few examples of art deco architecture in the city. It should be retained, and I am hopeful the developer will work towards that eventual outcome.”

Of seven M&S stores built in the 1930s by J M Mono & Sons following a modular system devised by Robert Lutyens, just three other stores survive at Dundee, Falkirk and Kirkcaldy. 


Dave fae Buckie
#1 Posted by Dave fae Buckie on 23 Jan 2023 at 21:49 PM
The developers need not worry, if it gets listed. Like so many other buildings to date in similar situations, after a period of 6 months to a year of laying empty, it will suddenly and mysteriously spontaneously combust, clearing the way for immediate demolition.
#2 Posted by Peter on 24 Jan 2023 at 09:06 AM
@1 - What a sparkling idea!
#3 Posted by EuropeanCanon on 24 Jan 2023 at 14:12 PM
I appreciate "[insert historic building] will go on fire if developers want to develop the site" is a bit of a meme in Glasgow at this point but its too easy a joke for me. Why does Glasgow have a terrible history with fires? A huge factor is the number of derelict buildings, which are obviously higher risk. And why are so many buildings derelict? Systemic lack of funding / investment, particularly in less affluent areas?

Basically I think we need to talk about fires as a symptom of a problem rather than a cause!
#4 Posted by David on 24 Jan 2023 at 17:46 PM
This is rediculous. Sauchiehall Street is on it's knees and HES want to retain a pretty crappy bit of Art Deco...they need to take a good hard look at themselves, and maybe even the City...
Bob ra Builder
#5 Posted by Bob ra Builder on 27 Jan 2023 at 21:10 PM
Fantastic! It'll join the Lion Chambers, Egyptian Halls, 50 Argyle Street, old Watt Brothers store and many others that will fall into further disrepair due to an intervention round it's neck. Bravo.

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