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B-listed Glasgow warehouse demolished in weekend operation

November 25 2019

B-listed Glasgow warehouse demolished in weekend operation

Dem-Master has completed demolition work on a new HQ for JP Morgan with the demolition of several tenements dating from the mid to late 19th century within the Glasgow Central Conservation Area.

This includes a Second Empire style B-listed warehouse on the junction of Argyle and York Street which was built between 1875 and 1878 as a warehouse for a metalworking company above ground-floor retail which had lain derelict for over two decades.

Supporting evidence commissioned from Heath Architects to demonstrate why a repair was not possible raised issues of ‘contour scaling’ of the stonework and structural defects in the facades.

In his report, written at the time of demolition consent being sought, Bob Heath, wrote: “There is no current science that can predict how this façade will react to any kind of intervention. It may be that whole stone replacement would work, but this has massive structural implications, such as consolidation of the hearting of the wall while the facing stones are removed and replaced.

“I do not have the experience of a project with these problems on this scale. The only similar exercise that springs to mind are the Houses of Parliament!”

The site will now host a 270,000sq/ft office block which will serve as the future Glasgow headquarters of US banking giant JPMorgan Chase. Full site clearance isn’t expected until January


Mr Retrofit
#1 Posted by Mr Retrofit on 25 Nov 2019 at 13:45 PM
This is such a disappointing result for this building. If the architect doesn't have the experience they should find someone who does...

“I do not have the experience of a project with these problems on this scale. The only similar exercise that springs to mind are the Houses of Parliament!”

How about GSA...
#2 Posted by Clarinda on 25 Nov 2019 at 16:16 PM
The loss of this B-listed building really is a shame, we can't regain our built heritage.

We shouldn't preserve things simply because they are old but this building was visually interesting and we have already lost so many beautiful buildings in Glasgow.
#3 Posted by David on 25 Nov 2019 at 17:12 PM
A sad day for central Glasgow. The expansion from JP Morgan is great news for the city and the country as a whole, however their building could have been constructed at one of the gap sites at the Broomielaw, or closer to the M8.

Instead a building that is vernacular to Glasgow, has survived the bombing raids of the second world war and the various economic ups and downs that the country has faced over the years, and for which the skills that were used to execute its design and detail are almost completely gone from today's population, is torn down in a period when Glasgow is enjoying something of a construction and economic boom.
It is scandalous that the owner was allowed to allow the building to deteriorate into such a condition, given that a previous scheme would have retained its facade, and the response of the architect is quite frankly an utter disgrace, as the comment above points out.
Glasgow Bob
#4 Posted by Glasgow Bob on 25 Nov 2019 at 20:26 PM
Where have retained facades of that age ever been done well?
It's a shame the building did not have the couple of quaint features dismantled and reused but the rest was grade a type 1.
#3 not sure the building survived ups and downs if it's been closed for so long?
Let's make a start with all listed buildings needing an MOT with a digital log book kept. Then we might see how much owners spend on the maintenance of the properties. A wee short back and sides might keep the bushes out of the gutters.
#5 Posted by Graham on 26 Nov 2019 at 09:19 AM
Mr Retrofit and David - you need to understand that Bob Heath lliterally wrote the book on the conservation of stone! Way back in 1978 he co-wrote `The Care and Conservation of Georgian Houses` - for a long time the bible for the conservatiion of Edinburgh New Town (and elsewhere). He's forgotten more about stone than you or I will ever know. If he says a stone facade is effectively beyond saving, then it is.
Voice of Reason
#6 Posted by Voice of Reason on 26 Nov 2019 at 11:34 AM
As usual one question pops in mind - where were all of you armchair warriors for the last 15+ years? Replacing St. Enoch hotel/station with present carbuncle was a major crime - this is just a mere victim of progress. A title of one of the ugliest cities in Europe (of its size) holds strong.
Walt Disney
#7 Posted by Walt Disney on 26 Nov 2019 at 12:17 PM
I drove past this building for 6 years morning and night and even in that short time you could see the accelerating deterioration. A building of that age can very quickly go past the point where economical redevelopment is no longer possible. I'd agree that there should be a legal resopnsibility for owners of listed buildings to keep them in a structurally secure condition, free from water ingress, rot and decay. But there isn't.

If Glasgow City Council, HES or the Scottish Government are serious about protecting and maintaining listed buildings then there should be a fund available to private individuals and developers to bridge the conservation deficit. I can't see that happening though. Hardly a vote winner when education, transport and the NHS are rightly at the front of the queue.

Oh yeah....and #1 Mr Retrofit. Check out credentials before throwing in doubt bombs. Bob Heath is Mr Stone and GSA was fire damaged and an insurance job.
#8 Posted by David on 26 Nov 2019 at 13:15 PM
#6, I hadn't been born when St Enoch's hotel/station was demolished. In this instance, I wrote to my local MP and MSP, Historic Scotland and formally objected to Glasgow City Council. The most that I can do as an ordinary citizen.

I think one of the ugliest cities in Europe is totally inaccurate, and would argue that Glasgow has some of the most beautiful Victorian and Georgian architecture in Europe. Sadly this building was allowed to rot away until it met its fate of demolition.
#9 Posted by wonky on 26 Nov 2019 at 14:55 PM
Voice of reason is either a troll or woefully misinformed. Most social commentators would agree that Glasgow is the greatest surviving Victorian city in the world/the fact that has to be pointed out to intellectual knuckleheads is frustrating: I could name numerous streets in the central conservation that have few rivals in the whole of Europe: Hope Street/Gordon Street, Sauchiehall Street/Argyle St all the way to their terminus at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, or St Vincent St, Bath St, West George Street ( particularly at the junction with Nelson Mandela Pl & W Nile Street)- or George Square, arguable the greatest Civic square in the UK, not to mention Buchanan Street, RESquare or Ingram Street? What of the West End with some of the grandest terraces in all of Europe at GWR- Buckhingham or Ruskin Terrace or GW Terrace or Thomson's Grosvenor Terrace? All entirely shoddy workmanship I presume. Not to mention Hyndland, Hillhead, Dowanhill etc or the Southside Conservation area from Pollokshields & Govanhill through Queens Park, Battlefield, MF toward Muirend- where else is comparable in any other large British city?
#10 Posted by Alf on 26 Nov 2019 at 16:07 PM
#9 wonky; nail/head.
#11 Posted by IndyNoo on 27 Nov 2019 at 07:00 AM
Ah Glasgow - you are so keen to retain the Worst Architecture Crown in Scotland award that you keep on knocking down these magnificent buildings. With the travesty of the M8 cutting off the old high street as a precursor to what is happening now, the City is rapidly going downhill. What are the Architecture schools producing to have such an awful lack of concern with the city context? Disappointing.
#12 Posted by Ross on 27 Nov 2019 at 09:06 AM
11# Yes, Glasgow - which has by a mile the most investment going into it of any city in Scotland - is going rapidly downhill. Get a grip.

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