WHERE IS IT? On Union Street, opposite the east entrance of Central Station.
The Egyptian Halls is something of a conundrum; a beautifully designed building, with all of Thomson’s trademarks such as the Greek columns decorated with familiar etchings, that has fallen into disrepair.
Despite its prime location on Union Street directly opposite Central Station, the Egyptian Halls has lain vacant, derelict, and at threat of demotion since the 1980s, despite having had Category A listed building status since 1966. One of Thomson’s last major projects within the city, it was designed and built for iron manufacturer James Robertson, completed in 1872. The name possibly derives from the Egyptian Hall in London, one of the first to serve a similar function as a multi-purpose commercial premises.
At the dawn of the 21st Century, in a mission to save it, Glasgow City Council bought the building in order to give the newly formed Union Street Developments (USD), led by Scottish businessman Derek Souter, time to secure funding. Five years later, USB purchased the entire building, and have since started work to completely refurbish the building to its past glory. Like Thomson’s Grosvenor building nearby, there are plans to extend the building by two floors, which will form part of a new 114 bedroom hotel. By 2019, efforts seemed to have stalled, as detailed in an article by the Glasgow Evening Times.
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