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J T Rochead … architect of the West End

By on March 28, 2014

He may have been born in Edinburgh but Glasgow can still claim architect John Thomas Rochead – born 200 years ago today – as one of our own, writes Russell Stewart.

This is the bicentenary year of the birth of one of Scotland’s most famous architects, J T Rochead. Born in Edinburgh on March 28, Rochead began his career in the capital and in Doncaster, before moving to Glasgow around 1839.

His name is synonymous with the Wallace monument at Stirling, after he won the competition to design it in 1861, and he was also the architect of many West End landmarks and Gothic style churches including Park Parish Church, in Lynedoch Place, where only the tower remains.

However, Rochead is the foremost architectural influence in the area around the Botanic Gardens entrance,  with the Venetian-style Grosvenor, Buckingham and Kew terraces and North Park House (formally BBC Scotland headquarters) all benefiting from his design.

The Grosvenor Terrace was started in 1855 and became a hotel at No.1 and 2 in time for the Empire Exhibition in 1938, before being expanded by Rio Stakis in the 1970s. The facade of the hotel was replaced following a massive blaze during the fireman’s strike of 1978 and is now the Hilton Grosvenor.

Buckingham Terrace consists of two separate buildings going east from the top of Byres Road adjacent with Great Western Road and meeting up with Ruskin Terrace. The A-listed east terrace was started in 1852 and consists of a Renaissance-detailed three storey terrace and basements with main door and flatted pavilions at No.1 and 16.

* See our story on the former BBC building – North Park House: History Turns Full Circle, by Ronnie Scott – here 

Pic of Buckingham Terrace.

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