The Brilliant Beresford

I’ve briefly mentioned The Beresford Hotel before and it’ll come as no surprise to most of you that this example of Streamline Moderne is one of my favourite buildings in the city.

It was originally built a year before the outbreak of World War II (that’s 1938, history fans) to provide accommodation for visitors attending the Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park. Unusually its architect was also the owner and managing director of the hotel, something which I’m sure your boy from Grand Designs would be furious about.

During the war it became a favourite haunt of American servicemen but it went into steep decline after the war and was sold off to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1952 and was converted to offices.

It was sold again in 1964 to Strathclyde University who reconverted it into accommodation for their students and renamed it Baird Hall, both uses a far cry from the glamour of its original purpose.

The Beresford was converted again in 2003 to private apartments and, speaking as someone who used to live on Sauchiehall Street, they must be lovely and quiet at the weekends.

Image Sources (Row-by-row L-R):

[1] The Beresford Hotel shortly after opening in 1938. (Source: Glasgow City Archives)
[2] Renovated Beresford Hotel c. 2007. The unit on the right is now a Tesco. (Source: seapigeon/Flickr)
[3] The Beresford during its stint as the headquarters of ICI c. 1955 (Source: Partick Camera Club/RCAHMS)

[4] Sir James Campbell in caricature. (Source: The Glasgow Story)
[5] The Beresford shown on the left in this Miller & Lang postcard. (Source: Miller & Lang Postcard Archive)

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postcard series - #5

i bought this one recently and just got it in the mail yesterday. it’s another one showing the tower built in glasgow for the 1938 empire exhibition. during its construction one person was killed by a falling girder and when opened more than million tickets were bought to travel to the top for views of the city and surrounding countryside.

‘dear lena,

we arrived here quite safely. the weather seems very nice today. we have just been round the main shopping centre. hoping you are feeling well.

much love ____ & _____

p.s. going to the exhibition tomorrow and sat.’