ONE of Glasgow’s historic buildings is set for a £200,000 revamp – and is opening its doors to curious visitors.
Work begins next month on the category-A listed Royal Faculty of Procurators to undertake vital repairs to the facade.
It’s the first stage in a 10-year maintenance and renovation programme that incorporates work on the roof, masonry, windows, doors and interior of the Italianate “palazzo”-style structure designed by architect Charles Wilson.
The organisation’s dean, Donald Reid, said: “This is an exciting time for us.
“The renovations have been two years in the planning and are an important milestone in the history of the royal faculty.
“We are very proud of our important building and over the years have done our best to maintain it to a standard worthy of its standing in our city.
“We’re delighted to see this stunning building restored and enhanced. It is a jewel in the city’s architectural heritage.
“The exterior will be fully restored using paint scrapings and stone sampling to ensure that the renovation is as sympathetic to the historic character of the building as possible.
“The legal and public activities which our building houses will be greatly complemented and boosted by this project.”
The faculty, which serves the legal profession in Glasgow and West Central Scotland, was incorporated prior to 1668, but opened at its current site in the city’s Nelson Mandela Place in 1857.
The imposing structure, which has a richly-decorated interior and houses a 200-year-old law library, was modelled on Sansovino’s Library in Venice and is designed in the style of a Venetian “palazzo” or townhouse.
Sculpted masks of legal figures form keystones to the exterior window arches, modelled by Scottish sculptor Alexander Handyside Ritchie and carved by James Shanks.
It’s a rare city centre example of the work of Wilson, who is responsible for some of Glasgow’s finest Italianate buildings.
A £57,344 grant towards the £117,000 external repairs has been awarded by Glasgow City Heritage Trust, funded by Historic Environment Scotland and Glasgow City Council.
The remainder will be funded by the faculty.
Reid added: “We’re delighted to have the backing of the trust for our project, not just for its welcome financial contribution but also for the artistic authority and public recognition that it adds.”
To celebrate and mark the occasion, the faculty – which is rarely open to the public – has arranged a series of events to allow an insight into its history.
The programme begins during Glasgow Doors Open Day with a virtual exhibition of the premises.
This gives an opportunity to view the library’s impressive interior and some of the treasures in its collection, which includes legal and non-legal texts and manuscripts.
Established in 1817, it is one of the oldest libraries in Scotland.
An advice clinic in conjunction with Strathclyde University Law Clinic is also planned, along with a tour of legal architecture in Glasgow and a series of public lectures.
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