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- Category: B
- Date Added: 17/06/1986
- Local Authority: Glasgow
- Planning Authority: Glasgow
- Burgh: Glasgow
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 57427 64606
- Coordinates: 257427, 664606
Circa 1860; Old Toll Bar 1892. 3-storey, 5- by 6-bay, square-plan simple Classical corner tenement with public house at ground floor with elaborate Classical interior. String course, cornice and parapet. Raised margins to windows; architraved and corniced windows at 1st floor. 4 steps up to doorway to flats in Admiral Street with slightly recessed door. Three entrance doors to public house with 2-leaf timber-panelled doors and deep plain fanlights.
Some 10-pane lying-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; non-traditional glazing elsewhere, plate glass to public house. Ashlar wallhead and ridge stacks (some stacks missing). Slate roof.
INTERIOR: elaborate 'palace pub¿ interior. Lobbies with etched and richly painted glazed inner doors with cherubs heads, foliage and other Classical motifs (left door in Admiral Street led to former jug and bottle bar). Timber boarded and panelled walls with foliate carved inset panels to dado height. Decorative panelling above dado with dentilled cornice. Wooden arcade on slender columns at W side and rear walls and over window recesses. Decorative dentilled springing point to arches on front and W side walls. Lincrusta to walls above arcade and between arches. Timber Ionic pilasters flanking lobbies; architraved and pedimented doorway to rear offices. Timber-boarded compartmented ceiling with egg and dart plaster cornice. 4 large advertisement mirrors, painted and gilded, by Forrest and Son, Glasgow. Long curved deeply moulded bar counter with quasi-consoles; cast-iron columns rising to ceiling at each end Richly carved ceiling-height gantry with deeply moulded architrave, 8 spirit casks, central clock and gilded eagle in ornate broken pediment.
Statement of Special Interest
This tenement with the Old Toll Bar at ground level is externally an astylar Classical building on a prominent corner site with some good detailing. In itself it is a modest building but the interior of the public house is outstanding and is one of the few remaining examples of the 'palace pub' in Scotland. The highly elaborate interior with many fine Classical details is the result of the considerable efforts that the publican made to attract trade by outshining his competitors.
Part of the timber cornicing inside the pub came from the City of Glasgow Bank, which failed in 1878, possibly from the head office in Virginia Street or the branch in Paisley Road. The timber panelling remains in its original condition. It is stained a dark rich mahogany colour. Very few public house interiors have retained this original colour, many having been stripped in the later 20th century.
No architect has yet been identified for the interior of the pub but the quality of the workmanship along with the fact that it is such a rare survival make it highly significant.
Though the building dates from the 1860s it appears to have first been occupied by a wine & spirit merchant, Andrew Neeson, in 1882. The property remained in his family until about 1928 but in the intervening years it was let out to tenants. When David McCall, already well known as the restaurateur of the now demolished Victoria Restaurant in Union Street, took on the tenancy in 1892, he and his partner George Fair instigated major alterations in August of that year. The following year the Victualling Trades Review (1 May 1893) described it as 'one of the most handsome bars in Glasgow'. Interestingly several other members of McCall's family seem to have been involved in the wines and spirits trade with premises all over Glasgow.
List description updated as part of the Public Houses Thematic Study 2007-08.
1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1863-64). 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map (1899). Rudolph Kenna and Anthony Mooney, People's Palaces: Victorian and Edwardian Pubs of Scotland (1983), p.107-8 and plates 16-20. Michael Slaughter (Ed.), Scotland's True Heritage Pubs: Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest (2007), p62.
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