Mourning the Mack – again

Mackintosh Building 22nd May 2014

This year is the 150th Birthday of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glasgow should be celebrating – we were celebrating. There is a wonderful exhibition at Kelvingrove which I’ve seen and enjoyed (and intend to go back to) and just yesterday a new mural was unveiled which I’m hoping to see in person soon. But today I woke up to the news that Mackintosh’s iconic Glasgow School of Art has been hit by fire for the second time in four years. It’s devastating – restoration was going well and the building was due to reopen next year. There are no reports of casualties – thank goodness – but Glasgow mourns all the same.

The picture at the top of the post was taken the day before the first fire – I was one of the last people to visit the Mackintosh Library. I wrote about that experience at the time and was proud to be contacted by the restoration architects because “You have posted a beautiful photograph of the Library Windsor Chair that is really useful as it’s showing the reinforcements done to the original design.” My picture was to be part of their documentation!

The account of my Mackintosh visit is on my long defunct blog Adventures of a Retired Librarian where there are more pictures of what was lost. Last time, a restoration fund was quickly opened up. Today is too early for that, but I’ll keep you posted.


  1. That is horrible and smells fishy. Two fires in four years? Cant’ be chancy.
    It’s devastanting when historical buildings get damaged, or worse destroyed. It’s a part of us that gets lost forever. And there are people who still don’t undertand it.
    So sad…


  2. I’m trying to catch up on some earlier posts and am now finally seeing this one. I have so many questions!!

    Is it bad luck or something far more nefarious going on with 2 fires in 4 years? I hope they are going to continue with the restoration?


  3. So sad- five days ago I did a spontaneous painting about the fire and I called the piece ‘Resurgam!’
    It is on my site if anyone wants to view it.


  4. When I saw it in the news my heart went out to those students who had their art collection in the building!! On a lighter note, Mackintosh reminds me of hard lollies on family car trips, to be savoured as not many were given out 🙂