68-74 Buchanan Street – 1938


Photo (C5620): Sourced from Virtual Mitchell and reproduced with the kind permission of Glasgow City Archives.

With something as substantial as a building you’d think there will always be plenty of evidence as to its history. My attempts to pin down the origins of this unfussy deco mash up on Buchanan Street prove that this isn’t always the case. The fantastic BritishListedBuidings.co.uk suggests it’s originally c1830 with significant alterations at street and first floor level being added around 1950. The Royal Institute of British Architects holds a photograph of the building c1920 with the deco frontage already in place. They also list the architect as Percy James Westwood, another fact I can’t corroborate. My best stab would be that the original building was indeed of 1830 with the modern frontage added, perhaps by Westwood, around 1920.

Whatever its history, it at least retains something akin to its original purpose. Rowan & Co. were established around 1846 as a merchant tailor and boys outfitters. They became outfitters to many boarding schools around Scotland, including Clifton Bank, St Andrews; Kelvingrove House, Bridge of Allan; Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh and Morrison’s Academy, Crieff. They also produced sports attire for tennis, golf, cricket and boating and became outfitters to the Glasgow University Athletic Club.

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