Late Victorian industrial time capsule is C-listed
February 13 2023
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has awarded a threatened former sawmill office with a Category C listing in recognition of its special interest, dismissing objections from the owner.
Subject to a live planning application for 60 flats the City Sawmills building at 124 Craighall Road, Port Dundas, of a once sprawling Port Dundas timber business dating from the late nineteenth century.
Designed by George Bell II of Clarke and Bell the red brick structure with sandstone detailing retains many period features internally, including a 'turned open' staircase with arched panelled frieze and coloured glaze. The entrance lobby also retains a mosaic-tiled floor, parquetry and art nouveau-style fireplaces.
Detailing the importance of these elements the heritage body wrote: "The interior floorplan remains legible as a late 19th-century office and has a detailed entrance stairway, public meeting rooms and a corridor of office rooms reflecting its business function. The interior decorative scheme retains a variety of high-quality timber decorative details which advertised the building’s status as the office block of a nationally recognised timber merchants. The features in the former public meeting rooms include multi-panel doors with ornate architraves, carved fireplaces and unusually decorative wood veneer parquetry on both dado panelling and office floors."
Paul Sweeney MSP, the author of the original designation request, commented: “The City Sawmills at Port Dundas are an outstanding example Glasgow's industrial past, of which we should be incredibly proud. As a city and as a population, we should celebrate our history and our heritage, including our industrial past. There was absolutely no justification whatsoever for demolishing it and I am delighted HES have agreed with my application and awarded the site C listed status meaning it can be preserved for years to come."
Untouched Victorian industrial architecture is increasingly rare with surviving examples often significantly altered from their original condition.
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