Well the time has come to call time on my hidden gems series. Not so much because I have run out of hidden gems as that I have run out of time to write them. At time of starting this I have two weeks until I get on the plane for Aus and barely a spare minute to write anything of any consequence. When have you ever done that, I hear you cry. To which I reply, sod off! 🙂 So here is the final instalment of my hidden gems.
First up is some building facades. I’m not saying that modern business ethics suck (they do *whispered behind hand*) but there was a time I think when being in business meant more than simply making money. Companies wanted to be around for a long time and contribute to community they were a part of. I think that is why they ended up with things like this as the facade for … a carpet factory. I think this is one of the true hidden gems of Glasgow and has to be seen in person to really be appreciated. Apparently it is based on a palace in Venice. Oh and the carpets for the Titanic were made there. Cool huh! 🙂
And then almost directly north in the Gallowgate you’ll find a housing development that won all kinds of awards and has this, this and this as facades. Anyone want to take a stab at what building the facades used to belong to? I’ll give you a hint, it was something to do with the carvings you can see above the gates. That’s right, it was the Glasgow Livestock Market and Abattoir. Can you imagine that kind of effort going into a abattoir these days??
This picture of the Glasgow City Chambers again shows the amount of effort that went into building back in the day but the hidden gem here is not the building as such, because it is pretty well known. The hidden gems, and there are two, is the foyer of the building, which has the most amazing mosaic ceiling, and the fact that this picture was taken at 10.15 at night with a poor standard camera phone. The length of the day in Glasgow in summer is a real bonus for tourists and adds so much to the enjoyment of the city. The six hour days of barely twilight during winter suck! 🙂
And the final hidden gem of Glasgow is looking up. A lot of tourists prefer the architecture of Edinburgh because it is more traditionally beautiful. But that is only because they fail to look up when they are in Glasgow. Street-level in Glasgow reflects its much more working-class origins. But if you lift your head you’ll find a whole new aspect. This, this and this are examples from some pretty normal buildings in a hundred metre stretch of the Buchanan Street Mall, while this is an old library in the East End. But check out places like the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and you can really see what I mean! 🙂
Actually I lied, the final gem is how Glasgow does its museums. They tend to have a very unique way of making museums accessible to everyone. I remember a display once of a Stormtrooper from Star Wars in the Kelvingrove Museum. The explanation went on very seriously about how they were the elite forces of the Empire, specially trained etc. etc., but finished off by saying ‘But for all this training there is no record of them ever having hit anyone’. 🙂 And at the new Riverside Museum, which house the old Transport Museum, this is how they display the cars and bikes. Sorry about the quality of the pictures. 😦