Glasgow School of Art – mourning the Mack

I’m reblogging this from my library blog because Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s School of Art is one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings. I visited it just before the recent fire and these are my memories.

Adventures of a Retired Librarian

Mackintosh Building 22nd May 2014 Mackintosh Building 22nd May 2014

This is not quite the post I meant to write, and for a few days I wasn’t going to write it all. Last Thursday, I visited the iconic Mackintosh Library at Glasgow School of Art – the day before the library was destroyed in a fire which ripped through the west wing (closest to camera above) of the Mackintosh Building. I thought it might be tasteless to write about it, but I’ve now decided that I should, both to record that I was part of the last group to be shown round the library and to draw attention, for anyone who is interested, to the Building Fire Fund which has been set up – you can find full details on the GSA website. So here’s the story of my visit.

I’m one of the guides on Glasgow Women’s Library’s Heritage Walks. We want to update our Garnethill script…

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  1. Hi Anabel,
    I just saw an article about the Glasgow School of Art in the travel section of the New Your Times []. Maybe that is of interest to you, too.
    Have a wonderful weekend,


  2. Oohhh, it breaks my heart to read about the fire and destruction of a building like that, So sad..:-( – and those treasures that books are… hope they get to rebuild and save whatever survived…


    • It is, but I think it’s encouraging that the archives, plans etc have survived which will give them a blueprint to work from when rebuilding. Also, the stock was well documented and some might be replaceable. Librarianship in Scotland is a fairly small, inter-connected community so we’re all feeling the pain.


  3. Oh no! This is horrible. I hate it when such a beautiful building with history and books to boot are destroyed. I hope it is not arson. It reminds me , quite a few yrs ago, of a historic church that was destroyed in a fire. It had rare paintings by a Canadian artist done in the Art Nouveau style. The developers wanted the church gone for a parking lot but the historic society won and then there was a fire. Initially the head fireman said it looked suspicious and then he recanted a day later and all was swept under. I hope something can be salvaged from the library fire


    • Hmm, we’ve had a few suspicious fires like that in Glasgow. This wasn’t one of them – it’s said that a projector overheated and sparked onto some foam or solvent that just shot up in flames really quickly. Firefighters were there in 4 minutes!