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The fight continues for the former Marks and Spencer building

My attempts to list the former Marks and Spencer building, 172-184 Sauchiehall Street, have been rejected.

In the summer of 2022 I applied to Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to have this art deco example listed as a building of special architectural and historical interest. Built in the 1930s by Robert Lutyens, who worked with J.M. Monro & Son, he created a modular design scheme that would go on to be used for the façades of over 40 Marks & Spencer stores.

I am disappointed by the final decision not to designate the building as listed, and accept that the only area of architectural interest is Monro’s 1936-38 modular façade to Sauchiehall Street. Much of the remainder has been altered over the years and is of little architectural or historic merit.

I note that the main reason for not considering this façade to meet the threshold for listing was the later fascia alterations at ground level, but has there been any consideration that substantial original features might be preserved beneath the later stone over cladding and/or could be reinstated? A point I raised recently during a discussion with the owner of the building.

I have asked HES to offer a view of the 1930s façade in relation to the building being in the Glasgow Central Conservation Area and the positive contribution it makes to the built heritage.

Whilst I am saddened by this decision I will continue to partake in discussions with the owners, developers, and interested parties to save the façade. It holds a special place in Sauchiehall Street and Glasgow, we cannot afford to lose anymore of our built heritage.


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