Hutchesontown

A primarily residential district of Central Glasgow, Hutchesontown lies on the south bank of the River Clyde, a mile (1.7 km) south southeast of George Square. Today the area represents three layers of settlement, comprising a mix of modern flatted housing, some 1960s development and a few fine old Victorian buildings.

This is a section of the Gorbals, which became the property of Hutcheson's Hospital in 1790 and thus gained its name. Much of the housing was built in the mid to late-19th C. with biggest employers being the Govan Iron Works (1839), the United City Bakeries (1886) and the Strathclyde Grain Distillery (1927), but the entire area had soon become a notorious slum, associated with crime, poverty, poor health and overcrowding. Of the 7605 dwellings, most had no baths or internal toilets. To overcome these problems, Hutchesontown was designated as a Comprehensive Development Area by the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1957, which gave Glasgow Corporation the ability to begin large-scale redevelopment.

The entirety of the old housing stock was demolished and notable architects were awarded contracts to build new homes in a modern style. Hutchesontown ‘A’ was low rise housing, mainly maisonettes completed in the late 1950s. Hutchesontown ‘B’, now known as the Riverside Estate, was designed by Robert Matthew (1906-75) and comprised four eighteen-storey blocks, completed in 1964. Hutchesontown ‘C’ at Queen Elizabeth Square comprised an award-winning development of ten twenty-storey towers connected by large balconies and arranged in two large slabs, designed by Basil Spence (1907-76). HM Queen Elizabeth II visiting the site and unveiling a foundation plaque in 1961. The flats were completed in 1965. The largest area Hutchesontown ‘D’ was designed by the Scottish Special Housing Association and included four twenty-four-storey towers and three eight-storey blocks. Finally, Hutchesontown ‘E’ comprised of twelve seven-storey deck-access blocks and two twenty-four-storey point towers, completed in 1968. Spence's brutalist blocks proved unpopular and were demolished in 1993, Matthew's work proved more popular and was refurbished at the cost of £6 million in 2008. Two of the Hutchesontown ‘D’ towers were demolished in 2006, while the remaining two were refurbished. The deck-access blocks of Hutchesontown ‘E’ towers were of poor quality, soon suffered from dampness and were demolished in 1987. The towers were demolished in 2013.

Hutchesontown District Library on McNeil Street was designed by James R. Rhind (1854 - 1918) and opened in 1906, one of the twelve libraries given to Glasgow by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919). The Southern Necropolis lies to the south of the district.

Hutchesontown is linked to Glasgow Green on the north side of the Clyde by a foot-bridge, the St. Andrew's Suspension Bridge. Roads cross over the King's Bridge to the east and the Albert Bridge to the northwest.


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