Glasgow & West Scotland

Historic 'What Every Woman Wants' store in Glasgow demolished

The facade of the building
Image caption The building has been vacant for almost 20 years

A historic building on Argyle Street in Glasgow has been demolished.

The category B-listed building, which was a popular department store, will be replaced by a modern office block.

Roads around the site will be closed until 06:00 on Monday.

The building, which dates from about 1870, was the original flagship for the "What Every Woman Wants" department chain, which had 130 stores around the UK at its peak.

It was closed in 2003 following a period of administration.

The developers, Osborne and Co, said in its proposals for the site: "We have been advised, independently, by conservation specialists that it is not worthwhile or possible to repair this building due to the condition of its façade and architectural significance."

In September, US financial services giant JPMorgan Chase announced plans to move to a new state-of-the-art building on the site vacated by the building.

The new £95m 13-storey development, which is expected to accommodate up to 4,000 people, is scheduled to open its doors in 2022.

Glasgow City Council warned of road closures on Argyle Street as well as York Street and Robertson Street over the weekend.

Delays are expected until Monday morning when the roads reopen.

Image copyright JP Morgan Chase
Image caption The proposed 270,000 sq ft building in Glasgow

Director Conor Osborne said the new development would deliver "a meaningful boost" to the local economy, with jobs in construction and local apprenticeships, as well as improvements to the city's infrastructure.

He said: "It will provide a competitive edge for the city, giving Glasgow a high-calibre development to attract blue-chip occupiers, and demonstrate the city is ready to support inward investment."

Image caption The walls of the building have been used as part of the Glasgow mural trail in recent years

A spokesman for Historic Environment Scotland said: "We were involved in detailed discussions about the re-development of the site and provided advice to Glasgow City Council.

"Following careful consideration, we accepted the case put forward that the repair of the B listed building at 335-45 Argyle Street was not economically viable. We also concluded that the demolition of the adjacent C listed buildings did not raise such issues that we should object."

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