Former Tron Kirk by James Adam, 1793-4. Built to replace 16th century City Kirk of which only the Tron Steeple (see separate item) now remains. To the E wall a Baroque screen wall and gateway were added forming a courtyard, J J Burnet, 1899-1900. In 1981 the redundant Church was converted into a theatre by McGurn, Logan and Duncan, most of the interior being lost.
Tron Kirk: simple plain symmetrical exterior, main elevation to N. 7-bay 2-storey with advanced end and centre bays. Harled walling, single light windows, all openings with painted architraves. Central 3-window bowed bay with architraved doorpiece with dentilled cornice and fanlight. End bays with similar doorpieces. All windows single light, mainly multi-pane fixed glazing. Moulded eaves cornice, piended slate roofs. To centre below 1st floor window inset panel with City Coat of Arms.
End bays are bowed to rear and act as stair towers. Long 4-bay flanks with margined windows. Rear elevation with 2 large round-arched windows.
Interior: largely recast during conversion to theatre circa 1981. Original church galleried, this is now auditorium preserving pews. Central Adam saucer dome with good original plasterwork also survives. To ground floor internal arrangement much altered.
Screen Walls: Baroque style curtain wall enclosing small courtyard to front of Theatre and forming the main entrance to Chisholm Street and concealing an air shaft to an underground railway tunnel. Boldly channelled polished ashlar masonry, all stonecleaned. To Chisholm Street, main gateway with elaborate cast-iron gates to left. Lugged cavetto and roll-moulded doorway with oversize arch above with emphasised voussoirs, dated 1909. Balustraded parapet with end finials, to left partly refacing original wall. To extreme left wall adjoins cast-iron railings.
Statement of Special Interest
An important part of the architectural character of Glasgow, the former Tron Kirk was designed by the architect James Adam of the renowned Adam family of architects. The original church was destroyed by fire in 1793 (with only the steeple remaining, see separate listing) and the Tron Kirk was built as a replacement. The central dome in the former church (now the auditorium) contains notable Adam plasterwork.
It ceased to be a place of worship in 1946 and in 1979 the Glasgow Theatre Club was formed and leased the Tron Kirk. The main auditorium by McGurn, Logan and Duncan was completed and opened in 1982. A £5 milllion refurbishment programme by RMJM architects was carried out from 1996-1999.
References from previous list description: Gomme and Walker 1987, p.47, 62, 371. Information by courtesy of the Buildings of Scotland Research Unit. D of G Ref 1/7227 for Burnet's screen wall and gateway. Additional information courtesy of Iain Paterson, Glasgow City Council.
List description updated as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.