Archives saved in Glasgow

Glasgow School of Art during yesterday's blaze.

Glasgow School of Art during yesterday’s blaze.

It was a tremendous relief to learn that among the treasures saved from fire at the Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and completed in 1907, was the school’s famous archives, which contained the third largest collection of Mackintosh material (mostly sketches, plans and working drawings). I link here to a marvelous 360-degree moving panorama of the library. It has been lost but firefighters apparently saved enough of it, hacking some of it out by main force, that conservators will be able to rebuild it much as it was, though lacking (for a while) a century’s patina of time. Experts are working to see what else can be saved, hopefully including volumes stacked loosely on the library’s wooden shelving. Much of the building’s famous collection of windows had actually been restored in a project just completed months ago. The British government has pledged millions of pounds to help restore the entire building, most of which has miraculously been saved. In fact, the governments of the UK and Scotland are literally competing for the honor of financing the job – partly because a vote is impending whether Scotland will separate from the UK.

The jolt of losing this building may be ameliorated by how much was not consumed in flame, and by how much that was consumed but may be reconstructed.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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1 Response to Archives saved in Glasgow

  1. Pingback: Mackintosh . . . modernist? Nah. | Architecture Here and There

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