Architect: J. T. Rochead (1855)
Built in 1855 in the Scottish Baronial style for the City of Glasgow Bank, this imposing building was by J. T. Rochead, who also designed the Wallace monument in Stirling. Sadly the bank was in worse shape than its building, and in 1878 it collapsed under £6m of debt due to fraud, embezzlement and false blog-keeping — which is roughly £7,112,000,000 in today’s money. While retaining the stunning Victorian facade, it has now been completely renovated into flats.
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St Andrew’s in the Square 1 St Andrew’s Street
Architect: Allan Dreghorn (1754)
Formerly the church of St Andrew’s in the Square, this building dates from 1754 and is widely regarded as one of the finest classical churches in Britain. It was designed by the architect Allan Dreghorn, based on James Gibb’s famous St Martinsin- the-Fields in London. It has now been transformed into an exciting new centre for performing arts.
Mercat Building 15-23 London Road
Six Allegorical Figures and Associated Decorative Carving
Sculptors: Benno Schotz, Archibald Dawson and Alexander Proudfoot (c. 1925-8)
Carvers: Holmes & Jackson Architect: A. Graham Henderson
This building, located next to the Mercat Cross, is designed on a trapezoid plan, with each of the three main facades featuring a pair of figures — all by different sculptors. The north-east corner of the Trongate was considered to be in need of some architectural streamlining, as a result of which the Mercat Building was planned and designed.
49 High Street
Architect: Thomas Gildard and Robert MacFarlane (1857)
City Architect Thomas Gildard and his colleague Robert H. M. MacFarlane received a commission to find a new use for an old warehouse building on Glasgow’s Trongate; a tough project for a street which in 1857 was described by the North British Daily Mail as “one eighth of a mile of iniquity with over 200 shebeens [illegal drinking houses] and 130 brothels”. The Trongate of 1857 was the domain of the poor and the working classes, so the two architects decided to convert the warehouse into a music hall.
Hugely popular for over a century, The Panopticon hosted acts as diverse as Mademoiselle Paula, the Reptile Conqueror, who would allow snakes to wrap around her body and played with crocodiles, and the first ever performance by Arthur Stanley Jefferson, one half of Laurel and Hardy.