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Case made for facade retention at imperilled Possilpark cinema

March 11 2024

Case made for facade retention at imperilled Possilpark cinema

An alternative vision has been set out for an under-threat North Glasgow cinema, illustrating how its ornate Art Deco facade could live on as the face of a new mixed use development.

Architect Alan Dunlop has sketched out several potential reuses of the site, incorporating apartments and a car showroom while heading off controversy surrounding the demolition of one of the few remaining buildings of social, historic and architectural interest in Possilpark.

Dunlop said: "As someone born in Springburn and who lived just off Hawthorn Street, close to the junction of Balmore Road, the Vogue Cinema was distinctive and it marked an important road junction. The Springburn that I knew, particularly Springburn Road which was once a thriving shopping and community street, has been destroyed, The Princess Cinema on Gourley Street and many other buildings of architectural merit have been demolished.

"Possilpark now seems to be suffering the same fate. Saracen Street, a major route into the city centre from the north, looks dilapidated. The Vogue Cinema is not a classic but it is the only building of any character and architectural worth left in this area of Possilpark and certainly worthy of a Category C listing.

"As an architect with forty years experience of building major projects, including working with listed buildings and on conservation projects, bringing them back to life, I know this building can be and should be saved. Why save it? It has history, both social and community and character and one of the few historic cinema buildings left standing in Glasgow. I'm convinced that if you strip away the detritus built up over the years, restore the frontage and entrance facing onto Balmore Road and Bilsland Drive, incorporating a new structure behind, of a comparable scale and distinction that also ends Hawthorn Street that would be worth considering in full.”

Site owner Allied Vehicles had begun to demolish the site to accommodate their expansion plans but were forced to halt work after a building preservation notice was served. This opens a six month window for Historic Environment Scotland to decide whether to formally list the remaining structure. 

Sketch perspectives illustrate how an expanded car showroom could sit behind the cinema frontage
Sketch perspectives illustrate how an expanded car showroom could sit behind the cinema frontage


Fat Bloke on Tour
#1 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 11 Mar 2024 at 10:30 AM
Messy but offers a data point.
Awkward site -- the junction is off the geegle ...
Irregular alignment of Balmore Street and Hawthorn Street.

Allied has an opportunity for some free publicity.
We still have a "Daf Car Corner" in the city.

50 years after the Dutch chucked it and went Swedish.
30 years'ish after the showroom disappeared.
And all because of CVT.
#2 Posted by spike on 11 Mar 2024 at 14:57 PM
A very good design solution which retains the original facade
#3 Posted by Roddy_ on 12 Mar 2024 at 16:52 PM
Are there plans, sections and elevations to go with these sketches?
Saracen lad
#4 Posted by Saracen lad on 12 Mar 2024 at 18:40 PM
Well done to the architect Alan at least you've stepped forward with some plan possilpark doesn't have much in the way of historical buildings so retaining this is good news
#5 Posted by TheFakeArchitect on 13 Mar 2024 at 10:48 AM
Really like that second proposal. Fair play for looking at a sensible solution for the site.
#6 Posted by Craigbert on 13 Mar 2024 at 13:41 PM
Alan Dunlop - one of the best sketchers I've seen. And nailing some of the issues affecting North Glasgow.
Neil C
#7 Posted by Neil C on 14 Mar 2024 at 08:17 AM
Only "one of" I am not sure the prof would agree with that. Still, an interesting proposition that looks very convincing but we do need to see more development plans.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#8 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 14 Mar 2024 at 10:32 AM
Economics of the build -- interesting to see what the market value of a two bed newbuild flat is in the area?

Would it stretch to £150K?
Plus a landmark showroom for the developer!

If that is where the market is and Allied can make it work then the local housing associations might want to revisit their build economics / business plans.

Subsidy harvesting in times of heavy austerity is never a good look.
Neil C
#9 Posted by Neil C on 14 Mar 2024 at 10:55 AM
...........looks good to me
#10 Posted by Georwell84 on 14 Mar 2024 at 16:21 PM
I don't think Alan Dunlop's sketches - good as they are - are connected to Allied's plans.

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