Glasgow's Egyptian Halls recognised among the most at risk cultural sites in Europe

Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s A-listed Egyptian Halls has been shortlisted by the pan-European heritage organisation, Europa Nostra.

Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's Egyptian Halls has been shortlisted by the pan-European heritage organisation, Europa Nostra, for its 7 Most Endangered programme.

The former warehouse on Union Street, Glasgow has been empty for 40 years and the building has fallen into decay. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) collaborated with the Alexander Thomson Society on the application for Egyptian Halls to be shortlisted by Europa Nostra, as the window to save one of Glasgow's most significant buildings is rapidly closing.

Completed in 1872, Egyptian Halls hosted public gatherings, musical performances and over 50 stalls selling goods from around the world. The five-storey building was built in a Classical style with an unusual combination of Greek, Egyptian and Assyrian detailing.

The condition of the building is deteriorating quickly. Much of Thomson's original interior has been lost, but currently the building's principal façade remains almost intact. Planning permission has been granted on several occasions to convert the building into a hotel, but these have stalled due to a lack of available public funding. The SPAB has nominated the site with the support of the Alexander Thomson Society, who support research into finding a realistic alternative use for the building.

The final list of 7 most endangered heritage sites in Europe will be announced in March 2020. To demonstrate public backing for the building to be saved, an online petition has been set up.

The 7 Most Endangered 2020

The 7 Most Endangered programme is organised by Europa Nostra, the Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe, and the European Investment Bank Institute. It is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The 7 Most Endangered programme, launched in January 2013, is a civil society campaign to save Europe's endangered heritage. While not providing direct funding, it raises awareness, prepares independent assessments, proposes feasible action plans to mobilise public and private support. You can read about the positive impact of the scheme here. An advisory panel, composed of 15 international experts, selected the most endangered heritage sites on the basis of their historic and cultural value and the urgency of the threat they are facing, as well as the community engagement, the commitment of public and private stakeholders, the long-term sustainability and the socio-economic potential of the site.

Article source: SPAB
Image source: SPAB

 

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