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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Buildings and Cityscape

Public Buildings

By Frank Arneil Walker

Clive House The 1960s and 1970s saw a public sector building boom which included much hospital construction, both new-build at the Queen Mother's, completed 1964, and Royal Hospital for Sick Children (1968-71); and enlargement at the Royal Infirmary (1971-82) and Southern General (1961-72). Several administrative offices for re-organised regional and district public authorities were also built, though none was distinguished.

The New Anderston The contemporary creation of the Inner Ring motorway, allied to a cleansing swathe of comprehensive redevelopment cut through the city's tired tenemented inner suburbs, wrought a transformation in urban public space. Around the Ring, street patterns altered. The Kingston Bridge, completed 1970 in two five-lane spans over the Clyde, carried the new north-south motorway artery through the heart of the city. Later riverbank landscaping and new building, both commercial and cultural, along quays and dockland on both sides of the river, formed a new east-west axis of development.

Glasgow Central Station The recovery of the post-industrial city also entailed the designation of a Central Conservation Area in 1975. While regeneration went ahead, especially in the Merchant City, the architectural integrity of the Victorian city was generally preserved. Some public buildings found new uses: the Royal Exchange became an art gallery (1996), and the General Post Office became residential (2003). Significantly, public space was reclaimed: in the pedestrianisation of Buchanan Street, Royal Exchange Square and St Enoch Square, in the refurbishment of railway station concourses at Central and Queen Street, and in the re-invention of hitherto overlooked "backyard" enclaves at Princes Square (1986-87) and the Italian Centre (1987-89).

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