It was another beautiful day in Victorian Glasgow, the last day before I had to leave Scotland for home. I started the morning on a walking route offered by the Mackintosh Heritage Group. The downloaded brochure offered a wealth of information about the architecture I was about to see. I was curious about “terraced houses” and was eager to see the tenements built in the 1890s that still feature their original stained glass windows: a hot item in that Glasgow era. At the Kelvingrove Museum, I read that Glasgow, starting in 1850, was a key producer of stained glass. The Museum had an artifact of a lovely piece taken from a tenement flat on Glasgow’s Florida Ave.
Although the walking brochure offered good information, the route was not easy to follow, so I asked a city worker for directions to Byres Road: to Byrnes Rd.
The tenements came into view and I snapped away at the stained glass windows, no one seemed to notice me, but then one elderly woman knew just what I was doing, “lovely aren’t they,” she said.
A “terraced house” is another name for a row house, a cost-effective design originated for the UK working class. The “houses” look exactly alike, share side walls and are joined together in rows. The effect was stunning in my camera’s eye.
The idea of assigning a class distinction to these houses is now peculiar. The row of houses on Grosvenor Terrace ranged from sad disrepair to the crisply kept Hilton Hotel! One of the houses had a marker that identified it as the former home of the wealthy shipping magnate, Sir Willaim Burrell, whose art collection I viewed at the Burrell Collection Museum.
I looked up the price for a Grosvenor Terrace house on a UK Zillow-type site: this property averages 667 pounds, that’s over a million US dollars. The flats are 2 bedroom, one bath.
That walking route ended up at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, huge and lovely; I took a quick look around, then headed down Great Western Road to Maryhill Road and on to Queens Church, the Mackintosh building that was closed due to the bank holiday the day before. The door was again locked; I rang that blasted bell hard and a very nice distinguished man answered and welcomed me kindly. It’s not a church at present; the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society owns and maintains the building. Take a look inside:
The “distinguished man” (no trouble understanding his dialect) encouraged me to press on and see Scotland Street School, the last of Macintosh’s architecture projects in Glasgow. He hailed a taxi for me. Next post: The Scotland Street School Experience.