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Notes on the Geography of The United Kingdom: Glasgow Periphery: Photo 73

world pictures The United Kingdom: Glasgow Periphery

This is what I wanted to see. It's a Hindu temple these days, the Om Hindu Mandir. From 1948 until a few years ago, it was a Christian Science property, but it opened in 1857 as the Queen's Rooms, a public hall designed by Charles Wilson in that busy year of 1857. The frieze was by the equally busy John Mossman, who we last encountered at the statue of David Livingstone. The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, ed. by Francis Groome, 1901, writes that "the frieze is a series of tableaux emblematic of the rise, progress, and culmination of civilization, and over the windows are fine medallions of James Watt, David Hamilton, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Flaxman, Handel, Sir Robert Peel, and Burns.... On the frieze of the N front [shown here] Minerva is shown as receiving the homage of figures representing the arts and sciences."

Williamson likes this building a lot. She writes: "It is one of Wilson's most inventive buildings--a classical temple without a portico, freely applied with early Italian Renaissance ideas... bold carving in the deep processional frieze representing the progress of the fine and useful arts. Despite its modest scale, it has enormous presence and its themes are continued on the adjoining tenements."

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