CHARING CROSS MANSIONS
WHERE IS IT? At Charing Cross, where the M8 cuts through the city, marking the end of the city centre and the start of the West End
Considered by many to be Glasgow’s first and possibly grandest of all the red sandstone tenements, the Charing Cross Mansions were built between 1889 and 1891. They were thankfully spared when the M8 motorway development bulldozed through the area in the 1970s.
This category A listed building was designed by Glaswegian architect John James Burnet, with its unique French-Renaissance style coming from his time at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, studying under famous French designer Jean-Louis Pascal. The mansion curves with the road, connecting Sauchiehall Street with St. George’s Road, while it finds its balance in the spire that rises out from the middle of the curve. The figurines perched around and above the centrepiece baroque clock were created by Scottish sculptor William Birnie Rhind.
As the city lurched into the modern age, many of Glasgow’s Victorian buildings did not survive in the wake of the mass development of motorways and modern office blocks. Thankfully the Charing Cross Mansions survived, but the landscape it inhabits is far removed from the one it was designed for, watching over a mesh of constant traffic.
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