For over a hundred years, the facade of Maryhill Burgh Halls was topped by an elegant, octagonal cupola tower, crowned by a wind vane - but it was removed in the early 1980s as it was becoming dangerous.
Now, as a major milestone in the ongoing, award-winning £9.2 million restoration project, a brand new hand-crafted replica of the original tower has been lifted up to the roof - over 60 feet above the street - by a giant crane.
The building contractor putting the building together is Graham Construction. The new cupola has been designed by JM Architects to be as close as possible a replica of the original, based on archive photos and drawings. Built by hand by specialist joinery contractors Hutton and Read, the cupola tower is an impressive 5 feet in diameter, 12 feet high, and is made from Douglas Fir, covered in hand-worked lead.
The wind vane is also hand made, designed and manufactured specially by P Johnston & Co. blacksmiths at Ratho Byres Forge.
Irene Scott, Chair of the Trust said:
“Now fixed back on the crest of the roof, the stunning cupola restores the exterior of this historic listed building back to how it looked when it first opened in 1878. It helps show the grand scale and ambition of the original, as well as helping to make clear how much progress has been made in the lead up to the Halls finally re-opening later this year.”
Hunter Reid, Project Co-ordinator and Company Secretary of the Trust added:
“The tower isn’t just decorative - it also forms a key part of the ventilation system of the refurbished building, which as much as possible uses natural ventilation to draw fresh air into the building. It’s great to see it back, and we’re delighted by the attention to detail and high-quality workmanship involved”.
Notes to Journalists:
This news release is issued by Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust www.maryhillburghhalls.org.uk
Further information is available from Hunter Reid, Project Co-ordinator and Company Secretary on 07808 739627 or Dr Gordon Barr, Heritage Development Officer, 0794 081 5202 at any time
e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Project
The 132 year old building is just over half way through a £9.2 million restoration project, which will breathe new life into the iconic Halls, save them for the community, create a thriving centre for business, and make the place once again the focus and beating heart of Maryhill.
Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust raised this remarkable sum to secure a bright future for the treasured Halls and in so doing recapture the splendor of one of the city's best loved buildings. The restoration work began in November 2009 and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2011.
In November 2011, the project was awarded a prize as Best contribution to Urban Regeneration in Scotland through the use of European Structural Funds at the European Structural Funds Best Practice Awards.
Maryhill Burgh Halls were the seat of municipal government in the days before Maryhill was a part of Glasgow. Built in 1878 and designed by renowned architect Duncan McNaughtan, they have lain derelict for the past eight years and are listed on the Buildings at Risk register.
Once restored, the Halls will include a modern public hall, cafe, 11 offices, a commercial and a community recording studio, a nursery, meeting rooms and courtyard garden.
Around 6 years of hard work has been put into developing proposals for the project. The Board of the Trust, which comprises local people and representatives from partners Maryhill Housing Association, Cube Housing Association and Glasgow City Council, has worked tirelessly to deliver the restoration.
The outstanding architectural appeal and historic merit of the Halls is further enhanced by a unique series of stained glass panels depicting the trades and industries of Maryhill in the late 19th century, and which are currently in safe keeping with Glasgow Museums.
The restoration will also see a significant collection of the 20 stained glass windows, conserved and returned to the Burgh Halls. In addition, the Trust has recently commissioned 10 new “Windows of Today” which will depict life in Maryhill as it is now.
The contractor for the project Graham Construction has secured employment opportunities within the local community by creating three apprenticeships in joinery to work on the Halls restoration.
Funding of the project has come from the following sources:
European Regional Development Funding £1.279m
Scottish Government City Growth Fund Phases 1 and 2 £1.25m
Heritage Lottery Fund £990,000
Big Lottery - Growing Community Assets Fund £980,910
Glasgow City Council Better Glasgow Fund £1.02m
Glasgow City Council Vacant and Derelict Land Fund £650,000
Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration Fund £1.8m
Historic Scotland £500,000
Scottish Government Wider Role Fund £750,000
The Robertson Trust £28,000
Everyone who is interested in following the development of the project through to completion can view progress and comment on the project on the Trust's Website at www.maryhillburghhalls.org.uk