The City Chambers is likely to be sneered at today as the “home of that bloody council” but stepping outside the typical Glaswegian cynicism of ruling authorities, the City Chambers remains an impressive piece of architecture. The building, which still stands as an example of Victorian civic architecture, first started to come to life in 1882, based upon a design by Scottish architect William Young. Young is naturally linked to Glasgow even though his origins are traced back to the nearby hovel that is Paisley.
It was another Glaswegian architect John Carrick that suggested the East end of George Square as being the most suitable location for the new building that would house the council chambers. The previous location at the Tollbooth at Glasgow Cross, with the steeple still remaining today, was insufficient for the growing needs of an ever expanding Glasgow and in 1888, the new home was complete.

Even though the building has been the seat of Glasgow’s rulers since then, the ever changing names and boundaries of Glasgow has meant a few different names have been the ruling body of the City Chambers.
Glasgow Town Council were the head honchos between 1888 and 1895 when the new title of Glasgow Corporation was bestowed upon the rulers. This title lasted for 80 years until the City Chambers became the seat of Glasgow District Council, operating under the Strathclyde Regional Council remit. This lasted until 1996 when Glasgow City Council took to the fore with the outlying elements of Strathclyde being banished from our doorstep. Huzzah!

A number of extensions to the building have seen the size increase from 5,016 square metres for the original build to the current size of 14,000 square metres. It may be unkind of us to say that this expansion has been required to satisfy the number of fat cats roaming the City Chambers but it would be fair to say you could have a number of parties in the building without anyone knowing…
The inside of the City Chambers is well worth experiencing but instead of us prattling on about the Renaissance Classicism style (which everyone knows about anyway) of the building, it is best to provide you with some pictures or to advise you to take the City Chambers tour.

Amongst the delights of this tour is the gallery of portraits of previous Lord Provosts so be sure to raise a glass to Pat Lally as you pass him, it’s what he would have wanted. At the time of writing, the Lord Provost of Glasgow between 1995 and 1999, is still with us but the thought of raising glasses would always be something that would put a smile on Lally’s face. To be fair to Lally, he was a driving force behind the seminal Glasgow days of the late 80s and early 90s and he remains an icon that Glaswegians of a certain age remember well. Then again, the fact that Pat Lally has earned the nickname ‘Lazarus’ due to the number of political comebacks he made in his life indicates that he had a few enemies and made a few mistakes in his time.

Glasgow City Chambers Entrance -  © Get Around Glasgow Photos

Glasgow City Chambers Entrance - © Get Around Glasgow Photos

Then again, show me the Glaswegian that claims to have never made a mistake in their life and we’ll show you a liar. Or perhaps one of they really snooty yet classy West-enders, you could maybe imagine they haven’t made a mistake in their life…but on the whole, we’re a people that roll with the punches and get on with things.

The City Chambers is a fine portrayal and tribute of those people.