Now the peeling blue paint which had been a familiar sight since the 1930’s, has gone to reveal a magnificent façade which was the original vision of Glasgow Architects Thomas Gildard and Robert H. M. MacFarlane in 1857.
In addition to peeling off the blue and repairing the stone some of the original historic features have also been restored and recreated, including the missing Putti (small children – usually boys - which are traditionally depicted naked). The Putti were recreated by sculptor, Jez Ainsworth, who in recent years worked with Hathernware on the restoration of the magnificent Doulton Fountain which has been relocated to the front of the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green.
This work was funded by Historic Scotland, Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative and the Mitchell Family (the owners of the building) and cost in the region of £900,000.
Detail of the restored Putti - courtesy of Euan Adamson & Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust