Clydebank Town Hall and the Bruce Street Baths in Clydebank : Some gains, some losses. The B-listed Town Hall simply described as " Renaissance, 1902. Two storeys. Clock tower. James Miller, Architect, Glasgow ", has been fully renovated with some restoration and much modern internal intervention. The hard won small museum has made way for two only display cases, but generous art display space. The awkward, but atmospheric feel of some public spaces, are now efficient if harsh. The Victorian colours of the main hall, even if not ever exactly correct, have given way to an antiseptic monochrome.

The Bruce Street Baths, the main focus of this post, were belatedly listed as C(s). Being physically connected to the Town Hall complex, which also included a police station, many had believed it to have been also listed B. But those responsible for the Town Hall redevelopment had interpreted the vague listing description to exclude it and propose demolition of the “slipper baths” section. A hasty application for listing did not impact on the proposals. C(s) simply hands decisions back to the council, in this case the client responsible.

Much has been written on the way this was handled and the loss of the social history through this type of building and those interested are advised to look elsewhere. What we are doing here is identifying and recording buildings at risk including what has been lost. The “slipper baths” have made way for an enclosed garden with the old façade forming the street side. The main baths do remain in anticipation of one day being restored, most likely adapted to a completely new use.

The pictures show the Bruce Street façade before and after demolition : main pool to the left and slipper baths to the right. It is this section that was removed. The derelict state of the interior should detract from its social and historic significance. The main pool remains, awaiting some innovative solution. The renovations to the Town Hall include a “garden gallery” with full width fenestration looking onto the new garden which has replaced the Slipper Baths.

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