GREAT WESTERN TERRACE
WHERE IS IT? Just off Great Western Road, a few hundred yards west of the Botanic Gardens.
Great Western Terrace is not only considered to be one of the finest examples of Alexander Thomson's work, but also one of the grandest terrace blocks from the era.
In the mid-1800s, the boom in Glasgow’s population caused by the Industrial Revolution pushed development west, as the upper classes sought to leave the areas inundated with migrant workers. Developers paid handsomely for the best architects to design grand buildings to attract the outflow of the rich into the new area of wealth. Thomson was in high demand, and in 1867 he was drafted to design the grandest terrace in Glasgow for builder William Henderson and landowner James Whitelaw Anderson. Henderson died in 1870, leaving Anderson to foot the bill. Thomson saw eight of the houses completed before he himself passed away in 1875, with the remaining three completed two years later.
Apart from the Ionic columns, the building’s exterior lacks many of Thomson’s motifs possibly because it was one of his last works, or that he was restrained from decoration by the builder. Nevertheless, they are an exquisite example of Victorian architecture, and Great Western Terrace was home to many of Glasgow’s rich and famous. Sir William Burrell occupied No.8, retired tobacco merchant James W. MacGregor lived at No.4, and publisher Robert Blackie had Thomson himself decorate No.7.
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