John Thomson, 1912. 2-storey, 7-bay, Rectangular-plan, classical municipal building with Baroque details. Tripartite hierarchical arrangement with advanced central block. Cream sandstone ashlar facade, channelled to ground floor. Base course, dividing band between ground and upper storey, moulded cill course to upper storey, eaves course, projecting cornice, parapet, balustraded above central bays. Harled brickwork to side and rear elevations.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: slightly advanced 5-bay central block. Stone steps to central doorway; deeply-moulded doorpiece with consoled, segmental-arched canopy; elaborate Airdrie coat-of-arms to centre; flanking pilasters with lion masks to capitals. Husk garland hoodmoulds to flanking oculi. Distyle in antis arrangement to central 3-bays of upper storey, Corinthian columns and pilasters, broken pediment bearing Airdrie coat-of-arms over central window. Consoled stone balconies and Segmentally-arched pediments to flanking bays. Cornice mutuled to central block. Wreath motif to centre of parapet flanked by balustrade. Small side entrance pavilions. Regular fenestration with taller windows to upper storey.
S (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-storey with 3-storey flanking blocks to outer bays. E (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-bays with channelled ashlar quoins, entablature, 2 windows to ground. 6-bays to left, irregular fenestration. W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-bay, squared and snecked sandstone, 2 windows to ground. Lower 2-storey bays to right.
Multi-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey Welsh slate, lead flashing. Steel frame with lattice girder roof span.
INTERIOR: panelled 2-leaf doors to small vestibule, 2-leaf glass and timber doors with plasterwork cartouche above; marble-lined colonnaded, semicircular lobby, portrait of John Wilson within elaborate timber backboard, flanking pilasters, consoled segmentally-arched pediment with carved coat-of-arms with pelican device to tympanum. Barrel-vaulted ceiling, galleried hall, proscenium-arched stage, richly decorated throughout with swags, wreaths and pilasters.
GATEPIERS: paired, tall, square-section entrance piers flanking main building. Swags carved to entablature, projecting cornice, plain coped caps.
Statement of Special Interest
A fine example of an early 20th century town hall, notable for its Baroque detailing to principal elevation and richly decorated interior, reflecting the generosity of its budget. £10000 of its building cost was gifted by Sir John Wilson, then owner of the Airdrie estate, businessman and MP. Airdrie-born architect John Thomson won the commission in an open competition against George Arthur and Andrew Aitken. He died the year the building was completed. The building employs a steel lattice girder frame by William Baird and Son Ltd of Glasgow (not to be confused with prominent 19th century iron and coal manufacturer, William Baird and Company). Steelwork frames of this type became widely used in industrial building from the 1860s onwards and were increasingly adopted for civic and municipal architecture in the early years of the 20th century.
List description updated, 2008.