Today, I decided to explore some of Glasgow’s famous buildings with a ‘Greek’ Thomson theme.

Alexander Thomson was, arguably, the greatest architect of Victorian Glasgow. He obtained the sobriquet ‘Greek’ because he believed that the architecture of ancient Greece could be the basis of modern architecture. Notwithstanding Thomson’s fascination for Greece, he never actually visited the country. He was born in Balfron in 1817 and died in 1875 at his home in Moray Place, the terrace he had designed.

Here are some images of the Caledonia Road Church 1856-57. This was Thomson’s first church but now a vandalised ruin on the edge of the Gorbals. However, the remains have a certain dignity and distinction with an elevated portico and a most unusual tower, probably inspired by modern German architecture.




Bucks Head Building-1863. This is located at 59-61 Argyle Street & Dunlop Street. A commercial building in which the iron construction is expressed externally.



The Gordon Street, Warehouse, opposite Central Station.

There is an Edwardian era superstructure placed on top. However, the Thomson facade is very visible; it is full of subtleties and distinctive ornament.



Egyptian Halls, Union Street. 1870-72.

Exterior looks sad/tired. This building was built as a bazaar or shopping centre and named after the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London. Interior constructed of iron; exterior of stone and was designed in a series of rich horizontal layers building up to a colonnade.


Grecian Buildings
, 336-356 Sauchiehall Street. 1867-68
Originally a commercial warehouse but now the Centre for Contemporary Arts.


This is the famous Willow Tea Rooms, Sauchiehall Street. Nothing to do with Thomson but took the pic as I was passing.

St. Vincent Street Church 1857-59 (Cnr. of Pitt St.)

The only surviving intact Thomson church. It is raised up on its own man-made Acropolis on the steeply sloping site. The ionic porticoes raised up are purely symbolic while the tall steeple is believed to be Indian inspired.Cast iron columns with extraordinary capitals are found inside.
This building still appears to be in use a living Church ( Free Presbyterian). The exterior would benefit from a good clean!!




Acknowledgement: For this tour and information I am indebted to a brochure: ‘Glasgow Architectural Guide 1’.

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