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Marblez

Alexander "Greek" Thomson

Since we already have a thread from CRM I think it only right we have one for the man who is probably my favourite architect and some of his Glasgow buildings

Alexander Thomson was born on the 9th April 1817 in the village of Balfron, he was the ninth of twelve children. On his father's death when he was only seven years old his mother and the rest of the family moved to the outskirts of Glasgow. Unfortunately between 1928 and 1930 he lost one of his elder sisters and three brothers. His mother also died that year and the remaining children moved in with this older brother William to Hangingshaw just south of Glasgow.

I shall continue this story later on but meantime lets have a wee look at some of his remaining buildings ...


Caledonia Road UP church


Caledonia Road church by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Bucks Head buildings Argyle St


Bucks Head buildings by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Grosvenor building Gordon St


Grosvenor building II by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr


Grosvenor building I by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Sixty Steps Built in the 1870's to allow access to the Queen Margaret bridge (since demolished)


Sixty Steps (N) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr


Sixty Steps - Wall Detail by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr


Sixty Steps (S) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Former Queen Margaret bridge


Queen Margaret bridge (North entrance) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr


Queen Margaret bridge I by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr


Queen Margaret Bridge II by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Egyptian Halls Union St.

All that is visible today is the mass of scaffolding as sadly they are in dire need of restoration. This photo is from Sept 2011


Union St by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Doog Doog

Marblez

Thomson married Jane Nicholson on the 21st September 1847 in a double ceremony with her sister Jessie who married John Baird II. They moved into a house at 3 Apsley Place, where they lived until 1857. Apsley Place later became part of Nicholson St and in the 1960's probably not long after this photo was taken, the building on the right next to the handcart would be underneath one of the Stirlingfauld tower blocks. They had twelve children but would later lose five of them to an epidemic

Apsley Place (west side) from Cumberland St c.1960's İCity Planning Dept later renamed as part of Nicholson St. It ran between Cumberland St and Bedford St


Nicholson St - Oct 2008
This is taken looking towards what would have been the east side of Nicholson St, this small stretch of road was left after the building of the Stirlingfauld flats (the piles of rubble in the photo) and was still there up until 2012 when work started on the building of the replacement houses on the site


Nicholson St (N) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Nicholson St - Feb 2008 This should help those familiar with the Gorbals to locate the area as it looks towards Cumberland St, the old station building is visible behind the trees to the left


Nicholson St (S) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Thomson and Baird started a practice together in 1848 and this lasted until 1857 when he went into practice with his brother George. His  first church was the Caledonia Road Free church, which was built 1856-7. It finally closed for worship in 1962, the inner city clearances of areas like the Gorbals depriving it of its congregation. It was repeatedly the target of vandals and was finally set ablaze on the 30th October 1965. The shell still stands as an unofficial landmark to all those approaching the city centre from the south east. Despite various plans over the years it still stands isolated between Cathcart Road and Laurieston Road (formerly Hospital St) awaiting its fate. Thomson also designed (in 1857) the adjoining tenements on Cathcart Road and Hospital St to complement the church

Caledonia Road church 1970 (west site) from Gushetfaulds c/o mustang This shows the tenements on Cathcart Road


Caledonia Road church pre1965 (east side) İPlanning Dept This shows the church before the fire with the adjoining tenements on Hospital St
Marblez

Caledonia Road church - Apr 1973 İStreapadair




Marblez

Caledonia Road church - Aug 1996

Gorbals 1996 by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Rear of church - Dec 2010

Caledonia Road church mono by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

For those of you interested in photos of the inside of the church see Stuball's stuff here
Marblez

Feb 2007


Caledonia Road church (F) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Mar 2007


Caledonia Road church (R) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Built between 1856 and 1860 Queens Park Terrace was, at 1104 feet, one of the longest terraces by a single builder on the south side. It stood on Eglinton St between Devon St and Turriff St. It was compulsorily purchased by the District Council, deemed to be a dangerous building and subsequently demolished, amid general outcry, in 1980. Excavations during the preparation of the ground for the M74 extension revealed that much of the rear wall of the building had been built on the site of an old midden. Whether it could have been saved or not is still debatable. The northern end (at the corner of Devon St) is now underneath the motorway.

Aug 1973 İStreapadair



May 2008 Ground starting to be cleared for M74


Eglinton St (S) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Queens Park Terrace (south)

Jun 2008
Taken from Kilbirnie St just before completion of the M74


Kilbirnie St (W) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Jun 2012 Landscaping for the motorway is now complete


Eglinton St (S) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Queens Park Terrace (north)

c.1960's İCity Planning Dept



Feb 2007 Before the motorway


Eglinton St (N) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Queens Park Terrace (north)

Jun 2011
Just before the opening of the M74 extension


Eglinton St (N) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Jun 2012 Landscaping works are now complete


Eglinton St (N) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Catnip

Great pics, depressing as all fcuk, though. :(
Marblez

Catnip wrote:
Great pics, depressing as all fcuk, though. :(


Depressing as in boring
Catnip

I meant the pics of Queen's Park Terrace were really nice, and it's depressing to see the motorway instead. Sorry.
Marblez

Catnip wrote:
I meant the pics of Queen's Park Terrace were really nice, and it's depressing to see the motorway instead. Sorry.


Ah good because that is what I was trying to show with the photos The church you can see in the middle distance lay derelict for years and was demolished a few years before the motorway construction began.
Marblez

If you head along Eglinton St towards the city centre, you would come across a site where another example of his work stood, at the corner of Cavendish St. This particular one was built in 1858 and demolished in 1969 during that seemingly wanton period of destruction in Glasgow. For those of you who have seen Streapadair's photos of Laurieston I am sure you will agree that some wonderful buildings were lost during this time

Eglinton St @ Cavendish St c.1960's İCity Planning Dept from Kilbirnie St roadbridge



Apr 2007 Cavendish St starts just beyond the red brick "tenement" where the houses with the scaffolding are. The only real difference today is the disappearance of three of the tower blocks oh and a motorway directly above you


Eglinton St by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Eglinton St @ Cavendish St - Jun 2011 The site is where the trees are and now there is only 5-17 Norfolk Court left standing. Stirlingfauld having bit the dust in 2008 and 54-66 Norfolk Court in 2010. Also note there is still motorway related work going on in Salkeld St


Eglinton St '11 by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Jun 2012 Much as it is today though the remaining tower block is scheduled for demolition in the next year or so


Eglinton St '12 by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Following the completion of Moray Place in 1861 the Thomson family moved into no1. It was here that Thomson lived until his death on the 22nd March 1875

1 Moray Place Where the Thomson family resided


1 Moray Place by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

1 - 10 Moray Place This is the only Thomson designed Terrace in the street the later ones being designed by other people

July 1975 İStreapadair



Oct 2013
Looks almost the same nearly thirty years on apart from a few more trees and a lot more cars ...


1-10 Moray Place by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Across Nithsdale Road is another example of Thomson's work, this is Salisbury Quadrant and was completed just after his death in 1875.

July 1975 İStreapadair



October 2013


Golden Tenement by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

October 2013 Panorama shot showing Nithsdale Drive / Nithsdale St / Nithsdale Road. 1 Moray Place backs on to Sammy Dow's pub.


Pollokshaws pano by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

On the other side of the railway line is another Thomson tenement, this one is at the corner of Nithsdale Road and Darnley St and dates from 1873

July 1975 İStreapadair


October 2013



Rainbow tenement by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Following on about Catnip's point earlier about how depressing it is to see beautiful tenements seemingly wantonly destroyed in the name of so-called "progress" I'd like to jump back to Apsley Place (Nicholson St) where Thomson lived for 10 years between 1847 and 1857.

As I mentioned previously one of the Stirlingfauld blocks was built on the eastern side of Apsley place. Looking at this photo you can see Bedford St in the foreground (behind the cranes) and Cumberland St (just visible) in the mid distance ran parallel with the railway. Apsley Place ran directly behind the right hand tower block connecting these two streets. Portugal St ran parallel to Nicholson St and used to connect to Surrey St to continue under the railway, it can be seen bottom left bollarded off north and south, just disconnected during redevelopment of the 60's and 70's

June 2008 İNorrie Stirlingfauld just prior to demolition



In the second photo it is clearer as you can see where the streets continued under the railway line. The railway bridge at Surrey St is visible to the left and Nicholson St is just at the big tree almost centre of the photo

June 2008 İNorrie Stirlingfauld post blowdown

Marblez

Laurieston developed in the 1830's so most of what was built there was typically Glaswegian in that it was wide streets containing rows of blonde sandstone tenements built on a grid pattern, with the main streets running off at right angles from the river. It also means that it was there for well over a hundred years before the mass demolition of the 1960's and 70's.

This photo taken from Norfolk Court in August 2013 shows the redevelopment of the Stirlingfauld site. The path which enters bottom left is the alignment of the former Nicholson St, it is the continuation of the vehicular access to Norfolk Court. As can be clearly seen this continues across Bedford St on the same alignment as the original Apsley Place, running between two of the blocks under construction. In light of recent developments in the Gorbals and the street names there having echoes of the past, I wonder if, in this modern interpretation of Glasgow tenements, the name Apsley Place will reappear on a map in the near future ... I certainly hope so.


Laurieston by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
Marblez

Thomson's second church was the St Vincent St church. This was built in 1859 as the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Today it is used by the congregation of the Free Church of Scotland and is the only one of his three churches which is currently still in use

Front view


St Vincent St church (F) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr

Rear view Only realised since the demolition of the Albany hotel


St Vincent St church (R) by D1gitAl Imagez, on Flickr
BTJustice

Here is a then and now of queens park church that was bombed during the war;


Queens park church then and now by route9autos.co.uk, on Flickr

and if it was still there;


Queens park church then in now by route9autos.co.uk, on Flickr

And his tennement;


Round tenement by route9autos.co.uk, on Flickr

Dave
Marblez

BTJustice wrote:
Here is a then and now of queens park church that was bombed during the war;


Queens park church then and now by route9autos.co.uk, on Flickr

Dave


Cheers BT

This was Thomson's third and final church completed in 1869 it was destroyed by a German bomb on the 14th March 1943 during WWII
norrie

Hi Marblez, good we thread you have here, pity some of Thomsons buildings are gone

Did I read in the press the other day that Ford Keirnan lived in the house at Nithsdale rd and sold it last week?
cybers

you did indeed ... had to take a hit of £300k .... made more than that back announcing the stage show no doubt  
norrie

I took a shot of that building many years ago in B&W
I would have loved to have had a tour around the house
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