The company enjoyed over 180 years of success from their humble beginnings in 1803 when the grandfather of A. Gardner started making furniture, until the company was taken over by Edinburgh rivals Martin & Frost in 1985. The Gardners were renowned throughout the world for the quality of their woodwork and craftsmanship. Not only did they create several patents for the treatment and preservation of timber, but also excelled in making mirrors, introducing the silvering process to Scotland.
The magnificent fronted building was later sold to the Wetherspoon pub chain, and after an extensive refurbishment and restoration in 2000, was reopened as the Crystal Palace. The name stems from the London building with the same name, designed by Joseph Paxton. The large greenhouse-esque structure is believed to be the inspiration for Baird’s original design.