Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

(Probably) Glasgow’s oldest pub at risk of demolition

I’m always a little wary of making definitive statements, so only say that what is probably Glasgow’s oldest pub may be at risk of demolition, to make way for a new development of students flats after an application was made for a 12-storey block to be erected at the junction of High Street, Duke Street, and George Street, containing 326 cluster flats and 100 self‐contained studio flats.

Sloans and The Scotia Bar also claim to be Glasgow’s oldest pub, but it is thought the Old College Bar has traded under the same name since its licence was granted in 1812 – the longest of the three venues. The pub’s name refers to the University of Glasgow, which was based around the High Street from its foundation in 1451 until it moved to its current site at Gilmorehill in 1870.

See the sign above the door:

Old College Bar High Street

Old College Bar High Street

Of the others:

I’ve read Glasgow Tourist Board opts for the Scotia Bar in Stockwell Street, built in 1792, but no note of how long it has traded under, and I’ve read Sloans claim that it was established in 1797, beginning as a coffee house in Morrisons Court named after Glasgow Baillie John Morrison.

The building has no protection through listing, and it seems the various developers could be said to be engaging in ‘dirty tricks’ in order to clear the site for their proposals:

In 2013, plans were revealed by owner Colin Beattie to tear down the public house as part of redevelopment plans.

Later that year, the bar was forced to close for six months over mounting energy bills but it reopened in 2014.

More proposals to replace the pub surfaced in 2015 after the buildings were labelled “dangerous”, which contradicted claims from two years earlier.

Glasgow’s oldest pub could be demolished for student flats

And, I saw in the Evening Times:

Last year, adjoining buildings in George Street were deemed to be in a dangerous condition and were demolished.

However, Glasgow City Council refuted any suggestion the building housing the bar and its immediate neighbours was in any way dangerous.

A council spokesman said: “The Old College Bar building is structurally sound, it’s not a dangerous building.

“The building that was demolished adjacent to this site was a former tenement.

“It was demolished as a dangerous building.”

The application will be considered at a future meeting of the Planning Committee.

The building to the left is listed, being a former bank c.1895, then a shop or similar, and now appears to be small exhibition venue, according to sign in the doorway. Above, flats/accommodation.

Old College Bar High Street

Old College Bar High Street

This badly rendered graphic (credited to ADF Architect by STV News) gives an indication of the proposed new building on the site.

Somebody should tell them that verticals CONVERGE as a building rises towards the sky, theirs appear to DIVERGE!

New proposals: View from Duke Street. ADF Architects

New proposals: View from Duke Street. ADF Architects via STV News

On a more serious note, it may be worth considering yet another article which appeared recently, and questioned the growing number of student flats in the city:

Growing number of student flats raises eyebrows in Glasgow

Notably, the article raises the same point about Edinburgh as well, and seems more like an irrational rant against new builds rather than a reasoned consideration of the subject.

It would have been of some value had it raised issues regarding clearances and locations for these flats, which are needed in some form unless students are to sleep on the streets if education centres are expanding.

For example, while the High Street proposal seeks demolition of possibly historic buildings to make way for the development of student flats, there are empty gap sites lying unused only a few metres away.


February 5, 2017 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , ,

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