Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Mackintosh Building S43

It’s the first anniversary of the big fire, and it seems it’s not been forgotten.

Although there’s little external evidence of ongoing activity at the remains of the Mackintosh Building (I know, I’ve been past it a few times, with little new to see), it seems that work is still being undertaken on a daily basis to make the structure safe, and parts are still being deconstructed.

Glasgow School of Art has re-affirmed its commitment to restoring the Mackintosh building, one year after it was ravaged by a tragic fire.

On the evening of Friday June 18, 2018, firefighters raced to the city centre blaze which had engulfed the Mack. When the fire was finally extinguished, a scene of devastation was left behind.

Ever since, Glaswegians have been left wondering whether we will ever see the Mack in its full glory again – the building was just months away from completion after being gutted during another major fire in 2014.

Yet Glasgow School of Art has this week confirmed to Glasgow Live the school’s intention to restore the building in honour of Charles Rennie Mackinstosh.

They said: “The Glasgow School of Art is committed to rebuilding the Mack as Mackintosh envisaged it. We will be bringing it back for our students, for the people of Glasgow and the wider world.

“This Friday will see 2019 Graduation which will be a day of celebration for our amazing students following a hugely successful Degree Show. Many will them will then be exhibiting work in London at the annual graduate showcases.

“We are focusing on this.”

However investigations into the fire continue, with Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service both involved – it is still unclear what sparked the blaze, with the building then under the day-to-day control of Kier Construction.

When asked by Glasgow Live what stage their inquiries are at, an SFRS spokesperson commented: “The investigation is still ongoing”.

Glasgow School of Art committed to restoring Mackintosh building one year after fire

Investigators are entering the final phases of their probe into the fire which devastated Glasgow School of Art.

The world-renowned Mackintosh building was extensively damaged when a blaze broke out on 15 June last year.

A year on, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said several hundred tonnes of debris still had to be removed from the remains of the building.

Neighbours of the art school told BBC Scotland they were eager to find out the results of the investigation.

Investigators have examined two sectors of the building following the removal of 400 tonnes of charred wreckage, according to the Scottish fire service.

They have also scoured hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and taken witness statements.

But before the final stages of the investigation can take place, more debris needs to be taken away from the “complex site”.

SFRS Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggart said the fire service was working alongside on-site contractors to have the “significant volume” of remaining fire debris removed.

He added: “The fire investigation remains focused on likely origin and cause – but against the backdrop of an unprecedented large scale fire scene within a complex and challenging site.

“Our fire investigation team is working hard based on what remains within the building once the debris is removed, alongside all other evidence available to them.”

The probe is being led by fire service group manager David Dourley, who said the final phases of the investigation would be “challenging” due to the volume of debris.

“It is also a challenging site and we will require, at times, to work within confined spaces,” he said.

“But safety is paramount and each time we move to begin an excavation or go onto the site we will consult with Glasgow School of Art and also the on-site contractor.”

Earlier this year, the school of art was criticised by Holyrood’s culture committee, which found bosses did not give sufficient priority to safeguarding the building.

It has also faced criticism from some local residents and businesses who were unable to return to their properties for several months.

Ms Simpson said: “I want to know who is responsible for the fire because it is somebody’s fault. There is somebody, or a variety of bodies, that were to blame but you need to see the facts first before you start shouting ‘it was your fault’.

‘Final phases’ of Glasgow art school fire investigation

Probe into Glasgow Art School fire moves into final phases

And the ‘forgotten’…

To many Glaswegians, the major fire at the School of Art may seem like it was just yesterday, but for the residents of Garnethill this has been the longest year.

12 months ago, on Friday June 15, the area was devastated by a huge blaze which engulfed the heart of the community – the world renowned Mackintosh building.

Not only did the residents have to suffer the sight of ‘a fireball falling from the heavens’ on their very own doorsteps, some were unable to access their homes for three months in the fall-out from the fire.

Yet there is finally hope for those living in Garnethill and optimism for the future. During a deeply traumatic time, community spirit has never been stronger.

In the week in which Glasgow Live reported the School of Art’s unequivocal commitment to have the Mack reconstructed “as Mackintosh envisaged it”, we had the opportunity to speak to chair of Garnethill Community Council, Jane Sutherland, about the experiences of the area’s residents over the last year.

Recalling the night of June 18, Jane said: “It was very frightening – it was a very scary night.

“We were all out on the streets, watching a fireball fall from the heavens. It really was terrifying.

“The firefighters looked like they had water pistols on it. It was an absolute inferno. I think they expressed on the night that some of them had never seen anything like it. I believe it was visible as far afield as Motherwell. It really was like a volcano.”

While the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland’s investigations into the blaze continue, the scars of that evening are still understandably apparent, yet there’s a sense from Jane things are starting to move in the right direction.

She explained: “I think there is a traumatised community.

“As you can imagine, it’s been an exceptionally challenging time, for all of the residents in Garnethill and for all the people who work here as well, because access to Garnethill is very restricted and that’s the ongoing day-to-day problems.

“It’s also been difficult with access because of the Sauchiehall Street Avenues project – slowly that’s all opening up and that will see a boost and an improvement to the fabric of the neighbourhood – bring a bit of cheer to faces.

“It’s been really hard-going with all of that building work and all of the building work going on at the Mack and the Reid Building. Renfrew Street is still closed, and looks like it might be for sometime yet, which restricts access.

“The thing is not just to dwell on the challenges of it, how hard it’s been – it has been shockingly hard – it’s the efforts the community and the Art School, all kinds of groups, have been working very, very hard since the fire to improve the community relations and see what good we can bring out of this.”

And in spite of initial difficulties, the relationship between the School of Art and local residents has now strengthened, while the city has given its backing to local community projects helping to renew Garnethill’s sense of purpose.

Jane added: “Since November, I think the Art School have recognised their communications with the community wasn’t as good as it should have been. I think they’ve made sterling efforts to really integrate into the community here, and offer opportunities for practical help and assistance.

Glasgow Art School fire – traumatised Garnethill residents reflect on ‘shockingly hard’ year

I’ll just leave these here…

Remembering the Glasgow Art School fire – one year on from devastating blaze

02 ABC one year on from Glasgow Art School blaze – here’s what’s happening

 

Mackintosh Building Renfrew Street

Mackintosh Building Renfrew Street

 

Advertisements

16/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S42

Not related to the building, but still of interest.

Glasgow School of Art chairwoman Muriel Gray has temporarily stepped down from her role almost a year after fire engulfed the Mackintosh building.

The renowned art school was extensively damaged last June while it was undergoing a £35m restoration following a previous fire in May 2014.

Ms Gray, whose husband has cancer, said she was stepping down from her role “for personal family reasons”.

Vice-chairwoman Professor Nora Kearney will take over as interim chairwoman.

Ms Gray said: “I have advised the board of governors of the Glasgow School of Art that I will be taking a temporary period of absence both as chair of the board and as a lay governor for personal family reasons.

“Given the challenges the school has faced over the past 12 months this was an incredibly difficult decision to take.”

Muriel Gray steps down from Glasgow School of Art post

Near identical coverage from STV:

Muriel Gray temporarily steps down from art school role

While the BRAVE MORONS COMMMENTERS who skulk after articles in The Scotsman never disappoint with their predictable responses:

Muriel Gray temporarily steps down as Glasgow School of Art chief

I’m almost surprised none suggested the board of the GSA was responsible for this most recent Glasgow blaze.

Firefighters tackle huge blaze at university building

Glasgow School of Art post fire

09/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S41

Other than the straight reporting occasionally seen in the media, this must be one of the few sensible articles I’ve seen arising from the fires in Glasgow.

There’s no point in dwelling on my point, as I consider the concept to be too well drilled into too many Scottish minds, but the near obsessive to find someone to BLAME before doing anything else is simply not helpful or productive – but I’m sure must bring a nice warm glow to the hearts of those who always want someone’s head to roll. Especially if they get one, or more.

Meanwhile, the grown-up try to do something useful.

Professor Guillermo Rein believes emergency services across the globe should be sending officials to Scotland to learn from the experience of the two Glasgow School of Art fires.

Fire crews who battled two major fires at Glasgow School of Art have the knowledge to prevent blazes such as the Notre-Dame disaster happening again, an expert has claimed.

Imperial College London Professor Guillermo Rein believes emergency services across the globe should be sending officials to Scotland to learn from the experience of the two Glasgow School of Art fires.

The fire science expert told the Sunday Mail blazes in heritage buildings are rare, occurring perhaps once or twice in a firefighter’s career.

But he insisted full “knowledge sharing” should take place when they do happen – and said the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is a world leader in this area of expertise.

Rein said: “There’s a lot to be learned from the School of Art fires. I hold the Scottish firefighters in very high esteem.

“For any city in the world that has a cathedral or significant heritage building, I would be sending a delegation to Glasgow.

“What they saw and experienced is very valuable. We cannot afford to have many more of these types of fires.

“We know now that those involved in the work which was being carried out at Notre-Dame were surprised that the fire burned so fast.

“But they designed the fire protection in isolation from the rest of the world – they did the opposite of learning from others.

“It turns out their fire protection design was flawed. It shows why it is important to learn from experiences of others and to share knowledge.

“It highlights that the rest of the world needs to know and learn from what the Scottish fire services experienced.”

Rein said that it’s a “concern” how the Glasgow School of Art burned not once, but twice – though it was not the fire service that failed.

Rein added: “They did the best they could – but it means the rest of the world can now learn from them. They will have become world leaders in dealing with fires like this.

“If I was the mayor of Paris, I would be sending officials to Scotland to learn from what they experienced fighting the School of Art fires.”

Rein said firefighters “need to be aggressive with the fire but gentle with the building when fighting such fires”.

He added: “This is when I really admire the firefighters – they manage to protect
the structure while attacking the fire.”

Glasgow Art School firefighters ‘have knowledge to prevent future blazes’ after Notre Dame

Mackintosh Scott Street from Pitt Street

Mackintosh Scott Street from Pitt Street

12/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S40

Back in Mackintosh Building S37 I tried to catch the remaining features of the o2abc, a place I’d never even noticed, and was amazed to find was popular. So, I obviously have no life (in the eyes of some).

At the time, street access was still limited and I couldn’t get near enough for a façade pic taken looking west.

The street is gradually clearing, and I was able to add the missing view to the collection.

Click for bigger.

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Notre Dame

I still find it interesting to compare the miserable reaction of some Scots and Glaswegians immediately after the Mackintosh fire, and the open hostility to the building, its potential restoration, and the raising of funds, with the haters not wanting to see a penny of any public money spent on it, and others calling for the remains to be razed to make space for something ‘useful’ instead.

Rather different from the response on the Continent after the fire damage to Notre Dame, where they seem to have been showered with so much money for rebuilding that they might have TOO MUCH!

Of course, the people who are happiest when they are miserable are pitching in as well, arguing the money should go elsewhere (maybe they are Glaswegians, spreading their ‘joy’ around the world)

Since the fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris last week, donations have been pouring in from across the world to restore the structure to its former glory.

Ordinary people and billionaires have pledged at least €750m (£650m; $835m) in the 10 days after the main spire and roof of the building collapsed in a huge fire on 15 April.

One early estimate by French construction economists suggests that the donations may far surpass the cost of repairs.

Amid the wave of goodwill and generosity, critics have argued that the money could have been better spent elsewhere.

But those collecting money for the repairs are urging people to keep donating, saying a price cannot yet be put on the work.

“We should not tell people to stop donating as we still don’t know how much it is going to cost,” said Laurence Lévy of French heritage group Fondation du Patrimoine.

Notre-Dame fire: Has too much money been given to rebuild it?

Man with big money bag

28/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S39

Not really a Mackintosh Building item as such, but more of a spin-off, or just some observations

While the fire at the Mackintosh Building seems to have generated little more than a witch-hunt for someone to blame (and either burn at the stake, or maybe just fire) and given some really really hostile Glaswegians the opportunity to demand the site be razed and reused for something ‘useful’ which, does not need any public money, the Notre Dame fire of last week seems to have brought a more sympathetic response.

There was an almost immediate response which had promises of rebuild and restoration, with no calls for blame apparent, nor any demands that no money e wasted on restoring an old ‘pile of junk.

Also, unlike Glasgow’s fire, there was consideration of arson, which I don’t recall seeing anyone suggest may have been the reason for the blaze.

Interesting?

I found that unusual in a place once known historically as ‘Tinderbox City’ – but to this day, I can’t recall seeing even consideration that arson or deliberate fire-raising was behind the fire.

However, it seems that Notre Dame is not the only such building to have gone up in flames recently, and due consideration to arson HAS been raised in that respect.

Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months.

More than 10 churches have been hit since the beginning of February, with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.

St. Sulpice, the second-largest church in Paris, after Notre Dame Cathedral, had the large wooden door on its southern transept set ablaze March 17.

Investigators confirmed March 18 that the fire was started deliberately, according to the website of the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, an independent organization founded with the help of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.

Vandals, arsonists target French Catholic churches

Then again, Notre Dame was also being renovated.

Nervous Renovation Ticking

21/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S38

No actual news this week, but I did see a related item in another article, and it is something which I don’t think has been properly reported by the media.

Rightly or wrongly, I get the impression that the only thing the media (and the Art School and its board’s detractors) concentrate on is Blame, and the Cost of rebuilding. The former for no reason other than its lust for a public hanging (it wants more heads to roll), and the latter so it can complain and whine endlessly about that cost, and who foots the bill.

I haven’t seen any mention of this (in any items fed to me)…

It has since emerged it cost the local authority £569,000 to carry out emergency repairs at the Glasgow School of Art when it burned down last June.

“It is easier to retrieve the money from the Glasgow School of Art emergency repairs which cost £569,000 as it was simpler to track the owner.”

This figure comes into public view as it seems that the simple ploy of a tangled web of owners stretching to India means the council might only recover half of £1.4 million spent on similar emergency repairs following the fire at Victoria’s Nightclub along the road.

Councillor Frank McAveety said: “The overall cost for the council to deal with the site is £1.4m which is taxpayer money.
Read More

“At the moment officers expect to recover just 50 per cent of the cost but it is hard to get the full amount from insurers as we do not know where the owner is currently living.

“We are still trying to clarify who owns the building as it has changed hands several times. I believe the current owner is living somewhere in India.

Victoria’s Nightclub demolition and emergency repairs sees Glasgow City Council spend £1.4 million after fire

While I’ve no intention into descending into some sort of nit-picking analysis, it seems that the Glasgow School of Art is getting a lot of kickings, but will have to pay its bills (and these are not even for restoration work), while some property or club owner at a distance enjoys a substantial discount at our expense. If they are ever even identified and presented with a bill which can be enforced.

And at a time when Glasgow City Council could well do without having to squander its funds on compulsory, safety related works on private (moneymaking) enterprises, while public venues go wanting for millions to rescue them.

Just my observation.

14/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S37

With no more news of the ‘Witch Hunt’ following the board of the Glasgow School of Art (personally, I’d be getting my Little Black Book out, and taking note of the names of the most vociferous ‘hunters’ – wondering if they are making so much noise about others in order to divert any attention from themselves), I thought I should acquaint myself with the O2abc building, since it’s one I’d never had reason to pay any attention to. I didn’t even know it was in use, having never seen its doors open. Guess I was never nearby at the right time.

Since the odds on what’s left of the building being left standing for much longer, I took the opportunity of a decent day to fly past and collect a few pics.

At the time, there was a fair amount of work underway in Sauchiehall Street (and there still is, although it is coming to an end), so some views and shooting locations were restricted.

I still managed to get just about the same shot I’d have taken of the front entrance and door, even if there was some large machinery abandoned nearby.

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Entrance

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Entrance

Looking west at the corner of the building.

Click for bigger.

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Looking East

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Looking East

Looking east.

At the time I couldn’t really get a decent view by moving further to the left (to match the west view above) as there was too much junk and pedestrian control fencing in place, and took this standing in Douglas Street, but still had to stitch two images together to get the shot I wanted.

So, I’ll have to check back, and hopefully get a second bite at this once the street is cleared.

Click for bigger.

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Stitch West

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Stitch West

So, they cleared the street, and I did get my ‘missing’ pic for the set.

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Finally, a look at the Scott Street side.

Some fairly well twisted steel roof beams on show there.

Scott Street O2abc Roof

Scott Street O2abc Roof

The weather got fairly crappy after I took these pics, and I haven’t been back since, so the street may be clear now.

Since we’ve moved  the clocks forward, I should take an evening ride in to see how it looks since I was last there.

07/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S36

This isn’t strictly the Mackintosh Building, but since other buildings affected by the fire have been given considerable publicity, I thought I should redress the imbalance and include one which has not, so far I’ve noted it mentined in stories fed to me, been given any attention.

Standing directly across from the Mackintosh Building, on the other side of Renfrew, is the relatively recent Reid Building.

Named after Dame Seona Reid who stood down as director of the GSA in 2013, the year before the building was completed, the new structure was given a plain monochrome finish, featuring an external skin of semi-transparent acid etched glass panels with a green tint (actually the glass’s natural colour).

Although I wasn’t able to visit the site for some time after the second fire, and there was no access to view the facade of the Reid Building, I’m reasonably sure I could see evidence of the cladding having been melted by the heat radiated from the blaze in the Mackintosh Building, and of material having melted and dripped or run down the front of the new building.

I could only see this looking from the side and behind, and had no recollection of the structure, and with so little to be seen, didn’t try to take a pic, In retrospect, it would probably have made sense to have tried.

Today, Renfrew Street is open, to view at least (and take pics from Scott Street), if not to walk along, and the state of the facade can be seen.

Still clearly ‘work in progress’.

The damaged glass and cladding have been stripped, the surface behind has been made good, and the fixings which will eventually hold new cladding have been set in place.

Reid Building Fire Repair

Reid Building Fire Repair

Looking a little closer at the detail.

Reid Building Repair

Reid Building Repair

A look at the cladding fixtures, since they’ll disappear from view once the cladding is fitted.

Reid Building Cladding Fixtures

Reid Building Cladding Fixtures

Finally, a reminder of how the facade looked when seen from Scott Street just after the Reid Building was opened back in 2014.

Original Reid Building

Original Reid Building

24/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S36

Interesting…

A damning report into the fire which destroyed Glasgow School of Art for the second time in four years will call for a full public inquiry, STV News has learned.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s culture committee have been investigating the circumstances surrounding the blaze at the Mackintosh building last June.

Their findings will be published on Friday, however in sections seen by STV News they express grave doubts about the school of art’s management.

Committee members also criticise evidence provided by those involved in rebuilding work following the previous blaze in 2014.

Ultimately, the MSPs feel they have taken their investigation as far as they can, and believe a full public inquiry is necessary.

They argue that the massive cost of rebuilding the art school justifies an inquiry similar to those held into the construction of the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh trams network.

MSPs call for public inquiry into Glasgow art school blaze

The other media sources later caught up with STV’s early mention of the report.

Glasgow School of Art (GSA) has been criticised by MSPs in a report into the fire which devastated the Mackintosh Building last year.

Holyrood’s culture committee said the school did not give sufficient priority to safeguarding the building.

The blaze ripped through “The Mack” in June 2018 as a £36m restoration project, following a major fire four years earlier, was nearing completion.

The GSA said it intended to “learn lessons” from the report.

The MSPs also said a full public inquiry should be held into the circumstances surrounding the two fires at the building.

The committee’s report concluded that prior to the first fire in 2014, the art school had not addressed the heightened risk of fire to the Mackintosh Building or carried out an adequate risk assessment.

Responding to the report, Glasgow School of Art said: “There are always lessons that can be learned, and we are happy to take forward the most appropriate and helpful as we bring this much-loved building back to life.”

However, it said there were some “factual inaccuracies” in the report.

It also added: “The Mackintosh Building is a national (indeed international) treasure, but it is not lost and it will certainly return.”

Glasgow School of Art criticised over Mackintosh Building fire

There should be a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the two fires in four years that left the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) badly damaged, a Holyrood Committee report has found.

The renowned art school was extensively damaged last June while it was undergoing a £35 million restoration programme following the previous fire in May 2014.

The Scottish Parliament’s Culture Committee published its report on Friday after taking evidence on the circumstances surrounding the blazes.

The report found that in the period up to the 2014 fire, GSA appears not to have specifically addressed the heightened risk of fire to the Mackintosh building and was not convinced an adequate risk management approach had been taken by the art school with specific regard to the building.

The committee also said it was concerned about the length of time taken for a mist suppression system to be installed in the Mackintosh building and questioned whether more could have been done in the interim period to protect the building.

Committee convener Joan McAlpine said: “The board of Glasgow School of Art were custodians of this magnificent building, one of the most significant to Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.

“They had a duty to protect Mackintosh’s legacy.

“Glasgow School of Art itself must learn lessons from its role in presiding over the building, given that two devastating fires occurred within their estate in such a short space of time.”

The committee is calling on the Scottish Government to establish a public inquiry with judicial powers.

Public inquiry should be held into Glasgow Art School fires, say MSPs

The other media sources took a little more time to catch up with this.

Maybe the MPs who wanted to be seen to be ‘DOING SOMETHING!’ to get some votes asked them to wait so they could get their names dropped.

I can’t even be bothered throwing a comment at them – they don’t merit it. The eventual finding was made obvious weeks ago, before the hearings even began.

I have little time for those who stand tall and proud AFTER an event, and declare how they are such experts and knew how it could have been prevented.

One simple question effectively dismisses them…

WHERE WERE THEY BEFORE THE EVENT, AND WHERE IS THE RECORD OF THEIR ADVICE BEING LODGED AND REJECTED OR IGNORED?

MSPs ‘not satisfied’ with the role of Art School in protecting Mackintosh building before 2014 and 2018 fires

‘Unaware and uninterested’ Ross Greer MSP condemns Glasgow School of Art’s relationship with the community

Committee calls for public inquiry into both fires at Glasgow School of Art

Four things we learned from the report on Glasgow School of Art fires

 

Mackintosh Renfrew Street West

Mackintosh Renfrew Street West

I’m surprised all those MSPs have not already published another report blaming the GSA for this as well…

Fire damages Shetland’s Fair Isle Bird Observatory roof

Firefighters tackle blaze at island bird observatory

Renowned bird observatory destroyed in ‘devastating’ fire

Vow to rebuild fire-hit Fair Isle Bird Observatory in Shetland

Still…

There’s plenty of time for them to issue a supplemental report, and include it there 🙂

17/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S35

Not really Mackintosh Building as such, but I don’t want to miss related issues.

As noted in the last summary (S34), some people seem to think this O2 ABC building has some merit.

One showboating Glasgow MP (cough Paul cough Sweeney cough cough) who already created a stink about the Winter Garden at the People’s Palace being closed, when he got himself some publicity with fantasy claims that the council had just killed off all the plants, is suggesting the building MUST be saved, yet seems to have no clue whether or not there is any structure to save, or if what is left is fit is structurally fit to be saved.

Certainly the engineer’s reports seem to suggest a level of damage from not only the fire, but the water from the efforts to control the blaze, and subsequent damage done when retained water was released, that render the remains useless.

It would seem better to have simply recommended façade retention instead of all the emotional garbage we’ve been subject to by some.

However, who will pick up the tab?

This was an events venue, a private venture where promoters and performers made money.

Was the place insured properly?

Is there a pot of money going to the owner since the property was damaged by a fire clearly not of their causing?

If not, tough!

Time to go to Kickstarter, ot GoFundMe. Or get a paper cup, and join those already begging for money in Glasgow city centre.

If the building is to be returned, or even the façade retained while something similar goes up behind it – then a commercial case and funding needs to appear.

Not just some whining by a trendy opportunist MP who seems to want to be noticed on the backs of others.

People who know better/more than him have stated “Construction expects have said the building is ‘economically unsalvageable and unrepairable’“.

Read more here (I’ve already made a longer comment than intended, simply because this guy irritates me)…

Historic Glasgow nightclub deemed ‘unrepairable’ after blaze

Full extent of damage to fire hit O2 ABC revealed as application to completely demolish is submitted

Here’s how you can object to plans to demolish O2 ABC after Mackintosh fire

And the best one…

Glasgow MP objects to plan to demolish O2 ABC as it would be ‘architectural vandalism’

03/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S34

Reading some of the comments made about an application to demolish the few remains of the O2 ABC venue made me go back and reread the announcement that it was actually just an application at this stage, and that the demolition had been approved.

APPLICATION Made To Demolish Iconic Blaze-Hit Glasgow Music Venue

Plans have been submitted to demolish the O2 ABC in Glasgow, BBC Scotland understands.

The music venue was severely damaged when fire broke out in June 2018 at the neighbouring Glasgow School of Art building for a second time.

During the ABC’s 144-year history it has been a diorama theatre, a circus, a dancehall and a cinema.

The O2 ABC, which opened in 1875, has had a long history.

By 1888 it became one of the first buildings in Glasgow to be fitted with electricity and in 1896 was the site of Glasgow’s first public film.

Construction work on the art school began next to the entertainment venue in 1899.

As well has being a cinema venue it has been home to a dance hall, a circus, a pub and restaurant and an ice skating rink.

Plan submitted to demolish Glasgow’s fire-ravaged O2 ABC building

I’d never even heard of the place, other than passed it as a cinema if I was along Sauchiehall Street, but not one I’d ever been in (so, I’m a peasant that haunted the east end).

Despite the history some seem to be touting for the remains, it seems little actually remains from the early days as it was extensively redeveloped over the years…

GLM director David Gibbon, a chartered building surveyor accredited in historic building conservation, told STV News that Historic Environment Scotland and Glasgow City Council will first look at the significance of the building before deciding whether it can be demolished.

He said: “It’s such a multilayered building according to the list description that there are lots and lots of different aspects to the significance of it.

“Probably, what you can’t say is that the fabric of the building is all that significant because it was largely rebuilt and then much more recently in the 21st century completely done over on the inside.

“So there’s not a great deal that exists that predates 1929.”

Mr Gibbon stated that the officers will consider who built the building, how important it is architecturally, and whether a better structure will rise from the ashes.

He added that other factors will be taken into consideration, including its past as a dancehall and circus.

He said: “That sort of thing will weigh somewhat in the decision-making process.”

Mr Gibbon stated that there will most likely be a presumption in favour of finding an economic use for the site.

He said: “It is a C-listed building, not an A-listed building or even a B-listed building.

“So it’s of local significance, not everybody in the world has heard of this building.

“And it isn’t a great landmark, and in fact it was only listed in the 21st century so it doesn’t go back very far.

“If that which is significant about the building has largely been lost in the course of the fire, then really there isn’t a great deal of point in trying to create a replica of that.

“If, however, a lot remains of particular value and interest as far as the public is concerned, then that will be weighed in the balance.

“It’s quite a striking building in the streetscape. It might be that the planners would say the interior is of no great significance but the facade continues to be an important feature of the streetscape.”

ABC music venue set to be demolished after art school blaze

I read that analysis as pretty much summarising an application that will be approved, with the provision that the façade is retained.

It would be hard to justify anything that required more cost or effort.

As someone who only visits the area to look, or to shop, I’m stunned by claims such as…

Concert promoter Paul Cardow said the loss of the venue was “a blow to the local community” in an interview after the horrific blaze .

He added: “The sad thing is the street was finally getting back on its feet.

“It was being redeveloped and the art school was almost finished and we would have all the students back in the area.

“The ABC is a massive part of the community and a venue that is hard to replace.”

Glasgow’s iconic ABC demolition plans submitted after Art School blaze

A promoter, and concertgoers, might think that.

And I guess we know what part of the community was responsible for the various comments made against any thoughts of restoring saving the Mackintosh Building almost as soon as articles appeared in the media, and allowed comment to be made after them.

These comments are pretty poor, and I hope strangers to Glasgow don’t take them as typical of the wider community.

Others expressed their fears over the future of one of Glasgow’s busiest streets. Businesses have suffered following two blazes in the space of a year along with the council’s regeneration scheme, which has seen parts of the high street shut off during works over the last year.

Singer Lou Hickey said: “Sauchiehall Street is already dying on its a**! Many business still struggling to recover from the fire. If the O2 ABC goes it will be the final nail in the coffin. We don’t need more student flats, we need art and culture! It’s what our city is famous for.”

“Wonder what hotel will be built there now?” John Campbell Clark deadpanned.

Ann Turner said: “Typical – all money for the place that caused this yet these companies have no help but to go.”

Evelyn McChoul fumed on Facebooked: “So lots of money for the art school again and nothing for this!!! Not impressed!”

Glasgow reacts over plans to demolish iconic O2 ABC after Art School blaze

Reading these comments about business claiming problems there reminds me of once being scolded, and told “Yes. Sure, It’s everybody’s fault but yours!”

Blame the Mackintosh Building fire.

Blame the works in Sauchiehall Street, But (aren’t they supposed to be making the street more attractive?)

If I was as ‘nice’ as some of the folk who made their views on the Mackintosh Building crystal clear, I’d probably be asking who the ‘Delusional 4,000+’ were, and what was wrong with them.

But, of course, I won’t.

What I would say is that people (not looking at any one side of this story now) really have to grow up, and STOP concentrating on wider issues as if they were single issue subjects, where only ONE view is the correct or acceptable approach.

As I’ve already noted above, I’d never even heard of this O2 venue before, don’t care about it, BUT… I do want the remains of the structure left behind saved, however, I’d qualify that by adding if possible, and economic.

Lesley Mitchell, who grew up in Airdrie, launched a petition which already has more than 4,000 signatures.

The petition, to Glasgow City Council and the owners of the O2 ABC, states that “The building appears to be structurally sound. Please consider saving the building and turning it back into an excellent music venue. We don’t want to see more student flats!”

Speaking to Glasgow Live, Lesley explained why she started the petition.

She said: “I heard on the radio that the plans had been submitted to demolish the building and I was very sad to hear that.

“I checked to see if anyone had already started a petition and didn’t find one, and so decided to start my own.

“I believe the Council need to know that the building means so much to so many people in its incarnation as a music venue, but also as a cinema to those of us growing up in the ’80s and ’90s and before that as a dance hall.”

‘It’s as important to Glaswegians as the Art School’ O2 ABC petition passes 4,000

Update

The petition is being pushed along.

Petition to save 02 ABC set to pass 10,000 today as Glaswegians rally against demolition

10/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: