Eye Spy Glasgow: the building that is supposed to resemble a hatstand

Those of us who take the time to appreciate the old buildings in and around Glasgow city centre are rewarded with a feast of architectural beauty.

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The sheer intricacy and detail of the sculptures and statues found in every street is jaw-dropping.

A walk along St Vincent Street is as good as it gets - and when you're there be sure to stop at number 144.

This is an absolute masterpiece. No other building in Glasgow looks anything like it.

It is called the Hatrack building - it stands tall and slender and gets its name simply because it is supposed to resemble a hatstand.

Just above the number plate are two plaques, one brown and one blue, that describe the building as a city landmark and part of the city centre heritage trail.

As you can see in the picture, they are set beside a wonderfully ornate stained-glass bay window depicting three ships on the water.

Once you've had a good close-up look at the wonderful architecture, it pays to go to the other side of the street and get the full visual effect of the Hatrack.

It is designed in the Art Nouveau style and notable for the extensive use of glass.

On the roof there is a structure like a small octagonal pagoda which gives the building its name.

The Hatrack was completed in 1902 to a design by Glasgow architect James Salmon. His father and grandfather had both been architects and James followed in the family tradition.

As the youngest Salmon to make his mark in the Glasgow architectural world he became known as "The Wee Troot".

Unbelievably there was a move to demolish the Hatrack several years ago. Thankfully it failed and the building is now A-listed.

It really is worth taking time to study it. There are more than 40 windows in the eight storeys, intricate carvings in the red sandstone and curved railings round the windows.

That's all before your eyes get to the amazing rooftop.

Unique is a word often used out of context. In the case of the Hatrack it is perfectly applicable.


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