St Enoch Square

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St Enoch Square with the former Subway entrance in the foreground, with the St Enoch Centre in the background.
St. Enoch Square in 1966

St. Enoch Square is a public square in Glasgow, Scotland, situated at the junction of Buchanan Street and Argyle Street, the city's two busiest shopping streets.[1]

History[edit]

The foundation stone of the St Enoch area was put down on April 12, 1780.[2] The area was created with grand Regency style buildings between around 1780-1820. The focal point of St Enoch Square was St Enoch's church, originally designed by James Paterson around 1780. This church was then substituted for another church designed by David Hamilton around 1825.[3]

St. Enoch Square has been home to many chapels and churches, namely the Church of St. Thenew, where her resting place is. The last St. Enoch Church was demolished in 1926, in order to allow development of a bus station and a car park.[4]

The St. Enoch Station originally opened in 1876, and the St. Enoch Hotel opened in 1879. The hotel was the largest hotel in Glasgow, with other 200 bedrooms. The station and hotel were both one of the first buildings to be lit by electricity in the city. The hotel eventually closed in 1974, and was used as a car park until work began on the St. Enoch Centre in 1985. A £150 million refurbishment programme began in 2005 after being purchases by Invanhoe Cambridge. This work did not conclude until May 2010.[5] Along with this work, the St Enoch Square received an upgrade, transforming the area into a plaza like environment, housing large screens for broadcasting, and generally creating a more pleasant urban area for pedestrians.[6]

The area was originally illuminated with gas lamps, but have since been replaced by electrical lighting.

Refurbishment of the St Enoch Subway began in 2014, and was completed in 2015, in an attempt to create a more modern and efficient environment. The £5.3 million contract involved replacing the entrances to the subway with new entrance canopies made of glass and steel, replacement of the floor, wall and ceiling materials, and general upgrading of facilities and equipment. [7][8]

The St Enoch Center entrance viewed from Argyle Street

Previously the site of a succession of churches, the St Enoch railway station opened adjacent to the square in 1876, and the St Enoch subway station in 1896.[9] The original ticket office of the subway station still stands today, and is currently a branch of Caffè Nero.

Architecture[edit]

The original 2-storey subway ticket office building, designed by James Miller in 1896, uses Flemish Renaissance architecture. The masonry is polished ashlar, most distinguished by the use of it in the 4 turrets that are corbelled out at each corner of the building. [10]

The east row of buildings retain a lot of the same architecture as they originally did, barring the storefronts of the many shops along the street level. The row shares similarities in colour and brickwork, contrasting the modern buildings at the west side of St Enoch Square, where the St Enoch Centre is located. The west side uses a lot more glass than was traditionally used, and colours are brighter at this side.

Notable buildings[edit]

Located directly adjacent to the square is the St Enoch Centre, the largest glass-covered enclosed area in Europe.

The IET Glasgow: Teacher building is found in the St Enoch Square. The building is a multi-award winning event venue, converted in 1995. Original features of the building, such as the sandstone facade that historical buildings around this area share, have been preserved.

The Caffè Nero in the area is situated in the original ticket office for the subway station. The building still has its original architecture, and remains aesthetically untouched since its original creation.[11]

Events[edit]

Hosted every year between the 10th of November and 22 December, the Glasgow Christmas Market takes place in St Enoch Square. The event begins at 12pm on the 10th with a continental lunch. The event offers continental beers along with mulled wine that are readily served at Continental Bars that will be present during the time.[12]

Glasgow Christmas market stalls in front of the Caffe Nero

References[edit]

  1. ^ "£70m Buchanan Street shopping complex opens". Scottish Herald. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "St.Enoch Square". Glasgow History. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "St. Enoch's Church". The Glasgow Story. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "Glasgow Architecture". Scotcities. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "History". St Enoch. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "St Enoch Centre". Urban Realm. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "Station Refurbishment". Graham. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Stewart, Catriona (22 January 2014). "£5.3m revamp will mean it's all change at St Enoch". EveningTimes. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Jones, Chris. "St. Enoch Square". Glasgow History. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "ST ENOCH SQUARE TRAVEL CENTRE, FORMERLY ST ENOCH UNDERGROUND STATION". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "A Coffee Shop with a Tale to Tell (St Enoch Subway Station ticket office and company offices, Glasgow, UK)". The Beauty of Transport. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Glasgow Christmas Market 2016: St Enoch Square". Whats On Glasgow. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°51′27″N 4°15′19″W / 55.8574°N 4.2553°W / 55.8574; -4.2553