A Greek Fantasy

Queen’s nephew defends city’s masterpiece

Yes, it might only be only another bit of architecture to go on about. People have more to worry about than an old church! Old churches, There is an easy formula for old churches – fire – demolition – redevelopment, or Financial Insurance Real Estate. Looked at it through the eyes of the philistine business head. (mainly Glasgow city council) How many people are going to come to Glasgow when it looks just like Manchester. (A city suffering the same developers, or nothing option, as Glasgow is experiencing) How many people are going to come here to see a £40m bridge when every other city has the same one, and designed by the same person probably.

Why do we need the Royal family of all people to tell us what is staring us in the face. The circus will end and the bubble will burst. The developers will draw up their sponge, suck up their profits and move to pastures new, and we will be left with their crap to clear up

Here a council member is speaking about a bit of architecture, (Thomsons Church) which if looked after would give the council some credibility and do something to assuage their reputation of philistine:

“Glasgow city councilor Patricia Chalmers, who is also chair of the city’s Building Preservation Trust, said: “We have spent a considerable amount of time and effort examining ways to use the building.

“This is a building of such importance but it is very difficult to take an existing building and turn it into something else to earn its keep.”

This about sums up the councils attitude to our heritage architectural and otherwise. If they cant turn it into a little earner it is superfluous. And to add. This is coming from the same council who have managed to help turn nearly every public institution in Glasgow, into a tourist attraction, pub, coffee house, or shopping arcade, strange that they have a problem with a piddly church. Perhaps it is because there would be slightly more noise than was created when the council trashed the Thomson, warehouses in bell street. Maybe there isn’t enough water getting in through the roof at St Vincent Street, to make it a goer for a council make-over, or better still a demolition.

The discerning visitor to this town is gobsmacked by two things concerning the above. One is. What can the council be thinking of when they can’t see the potential in these unique things and the other is. Why do Glaswegian’s, allow so much of their heritage to be destroyed.

Yes the council have a fantasy about the city, but I don’t think it is the fantasy that Gavin Stamp suggests. The councils feet are firmly set in reality, that is” realty”, ours, and the business of selling it for profit.

There is more involved here than old buildings. Old buildings represent an integral part in our history and offer a visual concrete reference to our story. We need to remember the history of Glasgow’s slave trade when we walk through the yuppie Merchant City. And the history of our river as we pass the concrete shrines to the developers that now line its banks.

If our city becomes unrecognisable and devoid of these references to our past and our culture, which not only affects grand churches, but is being purged from every fiber of our estate, we will have no living visual history, only what we have in books, television and glossy pamphlets.

The destruction of historical buildings is part of the destruction of history. Without historical reference of where we came from – which architecture helps to represent – we create passive, disinterested, visionless, inactive, populations. This state is a prerequisite for rule by corporate power, and was also one of colonialism.

I wouldn’t credit the Glasgow City Council to figure this out for themselves, but they have bought into a system whose main aim is to accomplish this idea, which accounts mostly for the councils gross abstract, stupidity, in these maters. But the question is. Are we, the general public, any better for letting it happen, or perhaps we are just to busy with reforming the GHA, to have any time for monumental architecture.