July 1917: Buchanan Street Fire – £3000 Damage at Former Tea-Room, Recently Occupied by Miss Cranston

An article on page eight of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 4th of July, 1917, reads:





Damage estimated at about £3000 was caused by fire last night in the premises at 91

Buchanan Street, recently occupied by Miss Cranston as lunch and tea rooms. The

outbreak, which originated in the upper part of the building, occurred shortly before

nine o’clock. The fire brigade were summoned, and a detachment from the Central Fire

Station quickly arrived, followed by others from the Northern, Southern, Eastern,

and Western District Stations. For a short time the fire burned fiercely, and from the

street the flames could be observed many feet above the roof of the building. In about

half an hour after their arrival, the brigade had the outbreak under control, and all

danger of its spreading to the neighbouring blocks was removed.


The building, which possesses several attractive architectural features, was erected

about 20 years ago from designs prepared by Mr George Washington Browne, R.S.A.,

Edinburgh, and the internal decorations, which include a good deal of carved woodwork,

were carried out by two well-known Glasgow decorators, Mr Charles McIntosh and Mr

George Walton. It is four storeys in height, with a stairway and passenger hoist about the

middle of the block. In the back portion there is an open well from the floor to the roof,

surrounded by galleries on each floor. The fire is believed to have originated in the upper-

most gallery, which was formerly used as a smoke-room. Practically the whole of this

gallery and about 40 feet by 50 feet of the roof of the back portion of the premises were

destroyed, including a good deal of carved woodwork. Damage was also done to the lower

storeys by water.


After an occupancy of 20-years, Miss Cranston, the proprietrix, announced some weeks ago

that she had transferred the property to a London firm who desired to open premises in

Glasgow. The restaurant was one of the best equipped and most attractive concerns of the

kind in Glasgow, and was highly popular not only with all classes of the community but also

with visitors to the city.”



George Fairfull-Smith, May 2023.