The People’s Palace in Glasgow is set to re-open to the public this Friday, 5 April.
Set in historic Glasgow Green, the popular museum closed in December 2018 due to structural issues with the adjoining Winter Gardens glasshouse. Following a £350,000 programme of works the city’s social history museum will open independently of the Winter Gardens during the busy school spring holiday.
Several alterations have been made at the People’s Palace, including the addition of a new café and retail space located on the ground floor, access to public toilets and a new fire escape, which was previously located within the Winter Gardens.
School groups will be able to access a new purpose-built packed lunch area on the top floor of the museum, replacing the former space available within the Winter Gardens.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a new photography exhibition, which captures daily life in the city in 1955, with an accompanying book available from the museum’s shop. 1955: Through the Lens features a selection of nostalgic black and white and colour images of how Glaswegians lived and worked almost 65 years ago.
Councillor David McDonald, chair of Glasgow Life, said: ‘The People’s Palace is just that; it’s the official residence of the stories, the images, and the memories of the people of our great city, entertaining and informing Glaswegians with displays of how we lived, worked and played in years gone by.
‘There was an understandably strong reaction to the suggestions of the possible closure of the People’s Palace, a clear demonstrations of its affection amongst the Glasgow public. So I’m pleased that it is now scheduled to reopen and vindicates our pledge that we would undertake the work to allow it to remain open while a long term solution is found to the challenges of the Winter Gardens. The People’s Palace collection belongs to Glaswegians and we’re glad they will continue to enjoy access to it.’
A range of activities and workshops will be offered at the People’s Palace across spring and summer. People can find out further details of the popular public programme via the museum’s Facebook page @peoplespalace.glasgowmuseums.
In addition to the newly installed exhibition visitors can enjoy highlights that range from a display charting the life of Scotland’s first-ever World champion boxer, Benny Lynch and The Single End, which tells the story of housing in Glasgow and how it has changed from the 18th to the 20th century.
There are also displays on dancing at the famous Barrowlands ballroom and trips to the Steamie, the colloquial name given to the wash houses that opened across the city in the early 20th Century where women would bring the weekly washing to clean by hand.
The Winter Gardens remains closed at this time. The structure is in need of repairs and the sealant used to secure thousands of windows in the glasshouse has reached the end of its life cycle and requires wholesale replacement. The current repair bill estimated to be £5-7.5m. Glasgow City Council is currently looking at how the Winter Gardens could be used in future, but no decisions have been taken at this time.
For more information visit www.glasgowmuseums.com.