You might think that you prefer a different Sub crawl over the forgotten artefacts of Glasgow’s architectural past but hopefully this little sojourn around three lesser known sights near Glasgow Subway stops might give you cause to think again.
Cowcaddens – The Dispensary For Sick Children
This curiosity sits just across from the Subway Station and doesn’t make a lot of sense if taken out of context. Why would a dispensary for a Sick Children’s hospital be so far from Yorkhill?
Well l’hôpital de sick weans hasn’t always been out in the West End. Up until 1914, the hospital was in Garnethill, just a (championship winning) stone’s throw from the Dispensary. The building at 45 Scott Street is still there today and forms part of St. Aloysius College.
Since the original hospital was significantly smaller than the leviathan at Yorkhill, the directors intended to treat as many children as they could in an outpatient capacity. They had originally planned to build a Dispensary for that purpose on the hospital site but had run out of money.
Luckily the Duchess of Montrose (for it is she) organised a ‘Fancy Fair’ in the St. Andrew’s Hall to raise money. To sum up the idea of a ‘Fancy Fair’ in a sentence, it’s like a posh Bring & Buy Sale. Regardless, the money was raised and the Dispensary built.
It opened in 1888 and provided a large dispensing room, a waiting area, consulting rooms for physicians, an isolation room for infectious weans and accommodation for the sisters and caretaker.
In 1889 the Dispensary saw more than 4,000 patients and this number had more than tripled by 1914. It was eventually closed in 1953 and is now owned by the Glasgow School of Art.
Buchanan Street – The Glasgow Stock Exchange
Source: The Glasgow Story
If you’ve never stopped to consider the architecture of Urban Outfitters on Buchanan Street, you probably won’t have noticed that it is far from the cavernous shell that its current occupier has created. In fact, it is one of the few examples of Venetian Gothic Architecture in Glasgow.
Designed by JJ Burnet, the same architect who built the Athenaeum Theatre, and opened between 1875 and 1877 it might surprise you to learn that it housed the Glasgow Stock Exchange.
Until 1964, major Scottish cities (Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee) had their own stock exchanges which operated completely independently of the UK stock exchange in London. After the 1964 merger, they continued to trade but with Glasgow operating as the main centre of the new Scottish Stock Exchange.
The Glasgow site was completely remodelled between 1969 and 1971 with the closure of the exchanges in the other cities. The Scottish Stock Exchange finally merged with the London Stock Exchange in 1973 and became the hub of their operations ‘North of the border’.
St. Enoch – The Old Station Building
This photograph, taken c. 1977 shows the original subway station at St. Enoch with the modern entrance to the station being dug out from underneath. The tops of the escalators are (very approximately) where the beam is in the foreground.
During the modernisation of Glasgow’s subway system in the 70s, there were a number of alterations made, but the old St Enoch towers survive today.