A B McDonald, 1914-17. 2 large impressive linked 3-storey 11-bay rectangular blocks with courtyard buildings and hose tower in Free Renaissance style forming former Southern Fire Station. Predominantly red sandstone ashlar to ground floor and dressings and red brick to upper floors. Base course, channelled ground floor, wide band course between ground and 1st floor, eaves cornice, low parapet. Some canted oriel windows to 1st and 2nd floors, predominantly broken pediment hoodmoulds to 1st floor windows. Occasional carved panels at eaves level. E BLOCK: E (STREET) ELEVATION: central advanced doorway with imposing pair of columns rising to 2nd floor with Ionic-inspired capitals flanking single light windows supporting large segmental canopy containing shield and wreath motif. Flanked by 2 bays with (now) large rectangular windows at ground, tripartite windows above, bays separated by pair of pilasters with ashlar and brick banding. Outer 3 bays mirrored on each side, with central bay with stylised figurative carving at eaves level, flanked by tripartite windows, those at 1st and 2nd floors canted oriels. N ELEVATION: blank, harled. S ELEVATION: single bay with tripartite windows to far left, those at 1st and 2nd floor canted oriels. To outer left, at ground floor, entrance with pilasters with lintel with wide band course forming link to S (Wallace Street) Block W (COURTYARD) ELEVATION: plainer, near-central entrance with round-headed window above at 2nd floor surmounted by narrow canted parapet section. Flanked by pair of large arched openings, those to right surmounted by canted oriel windows at 1st floor. Further entrance to left and right with round-headed windows above at 2nd floor. S BLOCK: S (STREET) ELEVATION: central advanced bay with tall pilasters with Ionic-inspired capitals at 1st floor rising to 2nd floor flanking bipartite windows, surmounted by segmental canopy enclosing carved fireman's helmet within wreath. Outer 5 bays mirrored on each side, bays 1 and 3 tripartite windows with canted oriels at 1st and 2nd floors flank bipartite section with carved motif at eaves level. Bays 4 and 5 with tripartite windows divided by shallow pilasters with ashlar and brick banding. W ELEVATION: blank, harled. E ELEVATION: blank. N (COURTYARD) ELEVATION: plainer, central entrance with round-headed window above at 2nd floor surmounted by narrow canted parapet section. Further entrance to left and right with round-headed windows above at 2nd floor. COURTYARD: HOSE TOWER: 6-stage square tower, channelled ashlar to ground floor and dressings, brick to upper stages. Large cill course to 6th stage, eaves cornice. Single light windows to S and N elevations set into round-arched recess with keystone at 4th floor, W and E elevations blank with round-arched recess with keystone to 4th floor. To left, recessed single storey brick former laundry. To right, single storey flat-roofed section with round-arched entrance doorway with pitched roof section to N. To N, 2-storey, 6-bay brick building with ashlar dressings and eaves cornice. Entrance at bay 3. To NE, later flat-roofed brick fire engine garage with large pair of timber doors to S elevation. Glazing largely original, timber sash and case windows with horns. To street elevations predominantly 8-pane and 12-pane. To courtyard elevations, mostly 4-pane or 2-pane, to tower, 8-pane. Courtyard building to N has replacement windows. Predominantly grey slates. Large brick ridge stacks with ashlar cornices. INTERIOR: altered and modernised, but with the original stairwells and cast-iron banisters with timber handrails in S block.
Statement of Interest
Built as the Southern District Fire Station for the Glasgow Fire Brigade and constructed in two phases, the South block begun first. Converted sympathetically c1989 to form a homeless assessment centre with accommodation.
An imposing and distinctive piece of architecture within the Tradeston streetscape and an important part of Glasgow's social history. The brick and ashlar banding, tall hose tower and original windows are of particular note. Once part of a thriving industrial area, the surrounding district has changed considerably in the last 50 years.
The fire station opened on the 27th October 1916. The E block contained the Watch Room and the Engine House where accommodation for 4 motor vehicles was provided as well as housing for the firemen on the ground floor. Above were further apartments and a billiard room, recognisable by the canted oriels on the courtyard elevation. The S block was built to house firemen and their families, with provision for 36 families in identical apartments, all with their own kitchen and bathroom. This block now provides accommodation for homeless families. Access to the houses was (and still is) from the courtyard, not Wallace Street, so that all comings and goings could be observed by those men on duty in the Watch Room. All the buildings were lit by electricity. The estimated cost of construction was £25,000.
A laundry was provided for the families in the building attached to the left of the hose tower. The courtyard building was probably a workshop, although it differs slightly from the building named as such in the Dean of Guild Plans.