End of an era as historic building is torn down

27.12.12 Photograph Jamie Forbes. Springburn Halls being demolished.
27.12.12 Photograph Jamie Forbes. Springburn Halls being demolished.

A LANDMARK building in Springburn has been reduced to rubble after a safety report revealed it was unsafe.

Work got underway last week to demolish Springburn Halls – bringing about an end of an era for the B-listed building and Springburn.

Council chiefs took immediate steps after an inspection revealed the halls were suffering from significant damage.

They said it “became clear that demolition was the only safe course of action”.

The road around the building has been closed off.

The halls, which opened in 1902 in Keppochhill Road, had lain derelict for more than 25 years.

It was latterly used as a sports centre before its closure in the mid-1980s.

Local politicians and residents have campaigned for the halls to be revamped.

Despite interest in developing the building, which is owned by Glasgow City Council, it remained closed.

The most recent plans were for it to be transformed into business units and a children’s creche, but developers pulled out.

David Quinn lives near the halls and used to attending boxing classes there.

He is concerned about what will happen to the two Greek goddess figures at the front of the building. One of them holds a locomotive to represent the area’s main industry.

Mr Quinn said: “I know it had to come down because it was unsafe. When the crane hit the front the whole building was shaking.

“I want to know what will happen to the two figures. They are important to the area.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said he understood that efforts are being made to remove and protect architectural features, wherever it is safe to do so.

He added: “Work is being overseen by City Property and is expected to take around six weeks.

“Residents in the neighbouring tenements had already been contacted and were aware demolition may be required.”

The Herald was also contacted by Marion Daniels who used the halls for gymnastics.

Marion – formerly of Twechar and Kirkintilloch, now sunny California – said: “So sad to see it in such a state.

“Even back then, in the 1960s, through 1970, it was old – though very beautiful with its wonderful wood floor.”

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