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- Category: A
- Date Added: 22/03/1977
- Supplementary Information Updated: 27/05/2010
- Local Authority: Glasgow
- Planning Authority: Glasgow
- Burgh: Glasgow
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 58930 65845
- Coordinates: 258930, 665845
Bertie Crewe, 1902-4. Striking 3-storey French Baroque theatre on prominent corner site with square-plan corner turrets with slated pyramidal roofs to corner and Renfrew Street. Buff terracotta with profusion of decorative sculpted panels.
RENFIELD STREET ELEVATION: 3 3-light pilastered main bays with narrow central dividing bays. Recessed central entrance with later canopy. Set of 3 2-leaf part-glazed entrance doors. Storeys divided by cornices. Main bays with 1st floor with windows divided by floating aprons, oculi windows to top storey with segmental pediments with richly sculpted tympana. Stepped parapet to bays. Lettering 'PAVILION' over centre between 1st and 2nd storeys with flanking blue and gold mosaic panels. Large 'PAVILION' sign attached vertically to central bay.
RENFREW STREET ELEVATION: bays arranged 1-3-1. Outer bays slightly advanced with 4-stage towers with sculpted top panels to top stages with small segmental skyline pediments. Central bays with ground floor frieze with lettering 'THE PAVILION'. 1st floor with 3 windows. Central 3-light, flanking windows 4-light with blind arcade aprons. Central window flanked by sculpted pilasters, repeated above. Parapet raised to centre and pedimented.
Variety of glazing patterns. Some stained glass windows. Predominantly multi-pane over plate glass. Plate glass to oculi.
INTERIOR: fine, rich Louis XV interior scheme. Small semi-circular apsed entrance hall with decorative plasterwork ceiling and terrazzo floor with mosaic inserts including central harp motif. 2-leaf timber doors with oval glazed panels and decorative mouldings. Auditorium (damaged by flood in 1992 ' see Notes) with 2 cantilevered tiers forming circle and gallery. 4 boxes and (altered) semicircular proscenium arch. Ornately decorated plasterwork with swags, volutes, putti etc. Domed ceiling contains rare operational sliding roof panel.
Statement of Special Interest
Opened on the 29 February 1904 as the Palace of Varieties, The Pavilion is an important and outstanding example of theatre architecture by one of the most celebrated theatre achitects of the period. The terracotta street elevations with ornate sculpted panels and touches of blue and gold mosaic along with the corner towers makes this building an unusual and striking addition to Glasgow's streetscape. It is one of the country's best surviving Edwardian theatres.
A flood in March 1992 damaged the plasterwork in the auditorium although this was subsequently repaired on a like-for-like basis.
The auditorium contains a rare operational sliding roof panel to keep the air in the theatre fresh. An early centralised vacuuming system remains in place with the main apparatus surviving in the basement.
Bertie Crewe trained in Paris, as well as London, which may explain his adoption of the French Baroque style here. The theatre was constructed for the Newcastle-based Thomas Barrasford who often chose Crewe as his architect.
The Pavilion is renowned as a specialist variety theatre.
Category changed from B to A and list description revised as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.
Ordnance Survey Map (1908-11). Williamson et al, The Buildings of Scotland ' Glasgow (1990) p208; Bruce Peter Scotland's Splendid Theatres (1999) pp109-113. www.scottishcinemas.org.uk [accessed 16 March 2009]. www.theatrestrust.org.uk [accessed 17 March 2009]. Further information courtesy of owner. From previous list description: 'Evening Times 30 July 1902. B 5 March 1904 p260.'
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