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Stuball

Caledonia Road UP Church



Many of you know this 'greek' thomson church and have driven by it many times.... but how many of you have seen inside? Yes, you can look in the gate but that just isnt that same.

Well, heres a little look















A couple more picture in the flickr set HERE but other than above, there isnt much to see. Access to the tower is impossible with the use of a 30foot ladder.
Alex Glass

Well done Stu

But by the look of your fifth photo it must have been used as a hippy commune at some point
James

Is there still a staircase in the tower?  



James H
Stuball

james73 wrote:
Is there still a staircase in the tower?  


Not sure James.... theres a bit of plywood over the hatch and the hatch is pretty high off the ground. From the little gap I could see a wooden landing at least half way up
cybers

Superb stuff Stu.
Got to admit I have been a little curious to the inside of this for many years.
Seems pretty clean and devoid of pidgeon poop which was a little startling.
Stuball

cybers wrote:

Seems pretty clean and devoid of pidgeon poop which was a little startling.


Now that you mention it, there is a lack of poo..... There is a constant draft running through it and no real places for a nest except maybe in the tower. As for being clean, thats down to the very heavy gate and padlock preventing ned access not to mention the height of the walls
escotregen

Good atmospheric stuff there Stuball. I was inside the ruin 'way back in the 80s. Setting aside the tragedy of the original fire, and that we can probably all agree that something better ought to have been done with the building a long time before now - I have to say that it does seem to have been well secured and at least what was left in the 1980s still seems to be intact. As we have seen with other treasures such as the Coia seminary at Cardross (have I got that location right?), ongoing insecurity and wanton vandalism can render even a ruin increasingly into an almost meaningless echo of the original.
James

It’s a Greek renaissance (Evening Times)



A DERELICT church designed by Alexander "Greek" Thomson is to be brought
back to life.


Caledonia Road church was built in 1856 but in the 1950s and 60s the
congregation dwindled as neighbouring tenements in Glasgow's Gorbals
were demolished.

In 1962 it was closed but vandals moved in causing extensive damage
and three years later the building was set on fire. Various work has been
done to stabilise the Category 'A' listed building including filling in the ground
floor windows to prevent anyone gaining access.

Despite lying empty for more than 40 years, the Alexander Thomson Society
has now drawn up detailed plans which are expected to get the backing of
planners tomorrow. They include creating three galleries, a public study area
where Thomson material can be accessed, a cafe bar, meeting rooms and 10
apartments which would be used as tourist accommodation.

The main body of the church will be turned into an open air public space where
concerts could be held. At present, the cost of the work is estimated at around
£4.5million and if grants are available, work could start at the end of next year.

Society secretary Sally White said: "At the moment, the church is an 'A' listed
ruin and all that remains is the tower, the entrance and the enclosing walls."

The plan involves conserving what remains of the original building to allow
it to house the new uses and building a new extension at the side.



James H
Stuball

That THING at the back is an abomination... the rest is ok though
James

It's beyond hideous, isnt it?



James H
Stuball

It's beyond hideous.... they really cant be series putting something like that on a historical building like that. Why cant they do something like they did with the St Mungo Museum at the Cathedral? It fits, more or less, with the surrounding buildings.
Saltmarketeer

I don't know how they can claim that the addition blends or adds in any way to the original building. The original is a masterpiece, the addition is a minimalist modern drab cop-out.

Some architect needs his arse kicked.
Doog Doog

Saltmarketeer wrote:
I don't know how they can claim that the addition blends or adds in any way to the original building. The original is a masterpiece, the addition is a minimalist modern drab cop-out.

Some architect needs his arse kicked.


HERE-HERE!!


 
Marti

Having lived in the vicinity of this old structure, i say, leave the thing alone unless what they suggest building along side it/next to it, compliments it.

Useless f%%ing architects, a monstrous plan if ever there was one...  
cybers

Quote:
10
apartments which would be used as tourist accommodation.


I feel the cynic starting to rise in me...
Why on earth would a society who claim to be Greek Thompson at heart want to stick a big boil on a thing of beauty.
This is one of those fecking leave it alone times or turn the whole thing into flats which will no doubt be the final outcome anyway.
Meddling Basturds...  
Saltmarketeer

cybers wrote:
Quote:
10
apartments which would be used as tourist accommodation.


I feel the cynic starting to rise in me...
Why on earth would a society who claim to be Greek Thompson at heart want to stick a big boil on a thing of beauty.
This is one of those fecking leave it alone times or turn the whole thing into flats which will no doubt be the final outcome anyway.
Meddling Basturds...  


I agree. I bet if we got our heads together (perhaps over a pint or five) we could come up with a sketch of a design that was for more sympathetic to the original than this.

Blocking most of the tower from view at street level is almost criminal in my opinion. Blocking it with that abortion of a monolith means the architect should go back to school.

Something which started at the same height as a feature on the front then gradually stepped up in elevation as it curved away from the street but with gaps and atriums to appear less blocky might work well. Perhaps even another tower uniting the old and the new.

Also, would it have killed them to do it in a material which looks remotely like the original building? That shiny aluminium sh!te is overused in my humble opinion but there seems to be a race to finish everything in silver. We don't need more Star Trek buildings, least of all attached to our city's finest architectural masterpieces.

kev

Saltmarketeer wrote:
We don't need more Star Trek buildings, least of all attached to our city's finest architectural masterpieces.


Taking about star trek.. just watched a DVD of the new movie which shows San Francisco in the future and it looks fab...As the old saying  goes Time waits for no man..  eventualy the thompson tower will come down along with all the remainining old buildings in the city...Wonder what Glasgow will look like in the 25th century ..will it look radicaly different...wonder if all this stuff we post will be there for future generations to look at in amazement
Saltmarketeer

Saltmarketeer wrote:
kev wrote:
We don't need more Star Trek buildings, least of all attached to our city's finest architectural masterpieces.


Taking about star trek.. just watched a DVD of the new movie which shows San Francisco in the future and it looks fab...As the old saying  goes Time waits for no man..  eventualy the thompson tower will come down along with all the remainining old buildings in the city...Wonder what Glasgow will look like in the 25th century ..will it look radicaly different...wonder if all this stuff we post will be there for future generations to look at in amazement


I'm not against the silver siding and glass curtain wall look per se, Kev. My problem is with it's overuse.  When it's being added to something like the GT building I'd say it's both unsympathetic and just plain bloody unimaginative. Even using a colour-matched render mix would be forgiveable but not a big shiny boxy turd sitting next to an architectural beauty.
cybers

Saltmarketeer wrote:
Saltmarketeer wrote:
kev wrote:
We don't need more Star Trek buildings, least of all attached to our city's finest architectural masterpieces.


Taking about star trek.. just watched a DVD of the new movie which shows San Francisco in the future and it looks fab...As the old saying  goes Time waits for no man..  eventualy the thompson tower will come down along with all the remainining old buildings in the city...Wonder what Glasgow will look like in the 25th century ..will it look radicaly different...wonder if all this stuff we post will be there for future generations to look at in amazement


I'm not against the silver siding and glass curtain wall look per se, Kev. My problem is with it's overuse.  When it's being added to something like the GT building I'd say it's both unsympathetic and just plain bloody unimaginative. Even using a colour-matched render mix would be forgiveable but not a big shiny boxy turd sitting next to an architectural beauty.


Whilst i have no doubt the church will eventually go i would be willing to wager that it will still be standing after this ally box has seen out its life.
Must everything be designed of late to mimic kitchen furniture...
The science museum was a radical design the dillo like wise and the new transport museum we will wait to see the out come.
But jeez do wee need another Fort and countless other buildings coated in this that have no artistic merit other than the architect had a ruler.
James

Go-ahead for £4m church revamp plan (Evening Times)



A PLAN to breath new life into a dilapidated Gorbals church designed by
Alexander "Greek" Thomson has been given the green light.


Glasgow planners and politicians have backed the multi-million pound scheme,
which was exclusively revealed by the Evening Times earlier this week, to
transform the historic building into a venue for Thomson fans and art lovers.

Caledonia Road Church has lain empty for four decades since it first opened
in 1856. For 100 years it was the hub of the community until congregations
began dwindling in the late 1950s.

The Grade A listed building eventually closed its doors in the early 1960s and
has lain empty ever since. Vandals have struck repeatedly over the years and
ground floor windows were blocked off to prevent access. Now the iconic building
is to be given a new lease of life.

The Alexander Thomson Society has been given planning permission for a £4.5m
masterplan. Officials hope to obtain grants so they can fuse 19th century architecture
with a 21st century living design.

They plan an upgrade which will include three galleries, a public study containing
Thomson material, meeting rooms, a cafe bar and 10 luxury apartments for
the exclusive use of tourists.

The ambitious project was revealed in the Evening Times. We told how the
apartments would be used to boost income and hopefully avoid any need for
the society to apply for grant aid every year.

All that remains of the church is it's tower, entrance and enclosing walls.



James H
Fjord

Evening Times wrote:
Vandals have struck repeatedly over the years and.....


continuing on the same theme?
Stuball

They could have used a better picture at least!
designerdave

As a Design graduate of the nearby Building & Printing could I add my weight to the earlier message to see what the Urbanites of Glasgow can come up with. I did have Thomson down as a major study when I was doing my degree and there have been many attempts at the refurb (incl. one involving a Mr. K. Dalgleish no less). This latest disaster would be worse than leaving it alone.  

I have to question whether the "architect" who was responsible really considers that to be an improvement on what's left of Thomsons genius??

My opinion is unprintable but I also think I'd love to see something done with it before it's completely untenable as a structure and is lost forever.
Alex Glass

I am no expert or professional designerdave but could it be that you are missing the point slightly.

Any development of a site with such an historic feature should not try to compete with such a classical building but in some way should complement it rather than improve on what is there. By bringing forward a solution which allows the old building to be restored and maintained is the most important feature. The building which will go along side (if this does ever get built) may not be to everyone's taste but it will ensure that we are able to enjoy a significant piece of architecture, designed by arguably Glasgow best architect, for many years to come.

Just another opinion - not right or wrong but hopefully worthy of consideration.
dickyhart

theres been a lot of great ideas for the church over the years, but i feel, because of where its placed it dont do itself any favours because of the roads around it, cant be a pub/cafe/restaraunt coz of people may get in the way of traffic after a few bevvies etc. and the cost of changing the roads around would be just silly.


im my opinion thompson is a sadly negleced architecht in glasgow. Glasgow seem to push macintiosh stuff. i think it very overrated.

mind you the old gorbals train station would make not a bad pub!!
designerdave

Alex,

that was a wee bit personal but I don't quite understand how I've missed the point? Granted perhaps "improvement" was maybe the wrong choice of word but structural maintenance keeps the building standing as it is. My point would be that any old sh*te tacked on detracts from the building so isn't actually better than nothing.

At the end of my comment I did say that I hoped some solution can be found to save the it, but I don't agree that anything is acceptable as you say.

Why bother trying at all? Why not just stick a corrugated roof in it and turn it into an Aldi then at least its saved eh? Hopefully Glasgow will show a bit more imagination than that.

I am, however, fully aware of the irrelevance of my opinion; no delusions of adequacy here. As the old saying goes "opinions are like a**eholes, everybody has one but its only everyone else's that stink"
John

I take your point entirely Dave and Dicky`s, why can`t this and other buildings like Springburn Town Halls that are supposedly in the wrong place be debuilt and erected elsewhere in a central location ( God knows where, but there enough vacant lots in the city centre to accomodate them ) where they would be more appreciated, at least it would be better than demolishing them and the cooncil must be pissed off that the UP Church can`t be set on fire.
cybers

Was there not another plan kicking around that involved wrapping the entire lower level in a glass structure so that the Church was still viewable whilst making the most of natural light.
Stuball

I dont think the building is any danger of falling down as it is... the walls are very VERY thick and castles have stood for longer without falling down
Alex Glass

Sorry DD if I can across as attacking your view.
designerdave

Alex, no worries - sometimes if you're touchy like wot I am, the words seem harsher than probably meant. Moving on.  

Its just a shame that so much of Thomsons work was neglected and lost. He had so much actually built unlike Rennie Mack but a lot has gone, lets hope something comes from the notion that it is important to save.

I do agree with what was said about the location and the new road (I imagine since I'm not there to see for myself) will only exacerbate the isolation. This obviusly has a huge impact on any scheme's viability, but its a problem to solve and that's the challenge eh?
Alex Glass

No problem Dave

Different opinions are best aired.

I am sure there will be lots of photos if this ever does get developed in one way or another.
James

'Greek' Thomson church cash plea (BBC)



A fundraising campaign has been launched to refurbish one of Glasgow's most
iconic derelict buildings.


The Alexander "Greek" Thomson Society hopes to raise £500,000 to bring the
church on Caledonia Road, in the city's Gorbals area, back into public use.
The
A-listed building was abandoned in 1962 and damaged by fire in 1965.

The society wants to conserve its remains and develop galleries and a museum
dedicated to the life and work of the Stirlingshire-born architect.

Public contribution

Its long-term plans, which involve buying the building from the council, would
also see the addition of a cafe, studio spaces and serviced apartments for short-term
letting. Sally White, secretary of the Alexander Thomson Society, said: "The total
cost of the project will be about £4.5m but we hope to raise about £500,000 through
public contributions.

"Ideally we would like to start on site sometime in 2011 with completion about 12
to 15 months later. But with the economic climate the way it is at the moment we
can't be certain."

Alexander "Greek" Thomson was an eminent 19th century Scottish architect and
architectural theorist. He designed all types of buildings, mainly in Glasgow, and
was largely inspired by the classic style of Greek architecture.



James H
Shuggy1973

Although it is fantastic that the wanton vandalism via neglect of this beautiful structure is being addressed it is sadly short sighted and potentially corrupt as should the project fail then it would provide such a unique site for residential accommodation development wouldn't it?

Firstly when you consider the reason for the modernisation is to attract visitors the question of parking must be considered along with traffic access to an already busy area.

Another point must be the potential to attract said visitors.  Even if the parking and access situation was handled correctly will the city authorities ensure that the facility is supported by adequate and well advertised public transport links?

As much as I hate saying this the area is not one which I would feel too comfortable walking if it were not my own city.  The culture of accepting that some areas are like this sh*t on this city for too long however it would need to be addressed to make it a viable place for tourists.

With the motorway development, a pub that really doesn't do much for the areas appeal (and this isn't Old Firm/football or sectarian nonsense) no facilities other than one of the most expensive newsagent in Glasgow and the surrounding roads not being that well lit lots of work must be made before any proposal can be taken seriously.

My proposal could make me enemy number one in some peoples eyes (as it has when I have raised it in conversation with friends) but why not relocate the structure?  Whether it be Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove Park, Pollok Park or any of this worderful cities amazing parks this gorgeous piece of architecture could be better served by a better proposal than we have seen.  Sadly my feelings are that I must add or will see in it's present location.

If it were relocated, a process that has worked across the world including in Glasgow, then a much more sympathetic addition could be made perhaps allowing for a museum specifically designed to celebrate our architectural heritage.

Just a thought .............. so please be kind!

Shuggy
Stuball


Inner Walls by stuballscramble, on Flickr


Church Tower by stuballscramble, on Flickr
Mahdi West

Smashing photos, Stuball. I can never get enough of looking at this building.
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