Community fights to save its 'historic' car park

IT IS a curious building for a community to hold close to its heart, but a multi-storey car park in Glasgow's West End is at the centre of a campaign to save it from demolition.

The green and white terracotta tiles on the front of the Botanic Gardens Garage have been a feature of the area since 1912 - the early days of the motorcar.

Yet Arnold Clark, Scotland's biggest car firm, which has owned the building since the 1960s, has applied to Glasgow City Council for permission to demolish the garage and replace it with 35 flats, four mews cottages, shops and a restaurant.

The building is B-Listed by Historic Scotland, which means it is classified as of regional importance.

The garage was built in 1912 by David V Wyllie and it is thought to be the oldest surviving custom-built garage in Glasgow. The campaign to save it is being led by Sam Maddra, a historian at Glasgow University, who said: "This amazing building is part of Glasgow's story.

"We should be proud of our history, and the council should do all that they can to preserve and celebrate it."

Eva Branscome, of the Twentieth Century Society, described the building as "exceptionally rare, if not unique, within a UK-wide context".

But a spokesman for Arnold Clark yesterday said the building required considerable repairs. "The only way is to remove the B-listed elements of the structure and faade," he said.