Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

123, 131 AND 133 SAUCHIEHALL STREETLB50773

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
11/12/2006
Local Authority
Glasgow
Planning Authority
Glasgow
Burgh
Glasgow
NGR
NS 58801 65782
Coordinates
258801, 665782

Description

James Carruthers, plans dated 1925, opened as the Rhul tea room 1927. 4-storey 5-bay streamlined classical former tearoom with impressive interior to upper floors. Polished pale sandstone ashlar with metal panels with wreath motif dividing upper stories. Simple giant pilasters divide bays. Consoled dentilled eaves cornice and blocking course. Ground floor altered. Red brick to rear. Original large tripartite style metal casement windows with stained glass margins to 2nd and 3rd floors.

INTERIOR: ground and 1st floors altered with modern shop interior. Near-intact tearoom scheme to 2nd and 3rd floors with quality timberwork and outstanding classical and rococo-style plasterwork. Chimneypieces and some dado panelling removed. Original lift in situ. Elegant wide staircase with marble dado and black and white marble landings; Bronze lattice baluster.

Impressive near full-width former luncheon and smoking rooms to 2nd and 3rd floors with plaster rococo panels to walls, timber pilasters and architraves.

Statement of Special Interest

A good example of one of Glasgow's famous tea rooms. A strong streetscape composition employing the then fashionable elements of bronze panels and giant pilasters with an exceptional surviving interior to the upper floors.

High standards of catering and décor were the distinguishing features of Glasgow's renowned tea rooms. Tea rooms proliferated in the city from the late 19th century until the 1950s. Initially conceived to cater for businessmen, they later came to accommodate ladies as well. Although the artistic tearoom was most famously exploited by Miss Cranston, the Rhul in Sauchiehall Street endeavoured to continue this tradition with its picture collection hung within the plasterwork panels.

Commissioned by James Craig, of the eponymous large Glasgow bakery business established in 1870. The term 'tearoom' should not diminish what was a luxurious and grand establishment with a shop, tearooms, luncheon, smoking and function rooms. Craig traded on their high standards and top quality baking. In the 1920s they had around 20 branches in the city, with the 'Rhul' and the 'Gordon' on Gordon Street (see separate listing, opened 1933) serving as their famous showpieces. The Rhul opened in 1927. Kinchin notes that the Rhul and the Gordon were known as 'the unofficial Art Galleries of Glasgow' (p140) due to the quality and quantity of Craig's renowned 'Glasgow Boys' art collection which hung on the walls. Large tearooms struggled to survive after the Second World War and the Gordon closed in 1955 with the Rhul following in May 1957. Kinchin writes that there was a complete disappearance of the 'James Craig' name, once synonymous with tearooms of quality and refinement, by 1970 (p171).

Carruthers appears to have specialised in restaturant work and was also commissioned to design the 'Gordon'. He continued to use giant pilasters and bronze panels at the Gordon but by this time (early 1930s) the detailing is noticeably Art Deco in style, whereas the 'Rhul' is monumental streamlined classical. Kinchin argues that the Rhul and the Gordon 'count among the best things built in Glasgow in these stagnant years' (p140).

Two sets of drawings were produced in 1925 for the site which had an existing Craig tearoom. The first set show a 3-storey building, with the later set showing the building as the 4-storeys which were constructed. It is possible that the modern shop fittings to the ground and first floors obscure further evidence of the original decorative scheme.

References

Bibliography

Mitchell Library, Dean of Guild Drawings, references 1923/434 & 1925/418. Ordnance Survey Map (1933-42). Perilla Kinchin Tea and Taste The Glasgow Tearooms 1875-1975 (1991).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 08/12/2021 02:53