The St Andrew’s Halls, August 1898: Redecoration

An article on page four of The Glasgow Herald, on Thursday the 1st of September, 1898, reads:


“THE ST ANDREW’S HALLS. – The opening concert in connection with the Corporation Musical

Recitals takes place in St Andrew’s Hall on Saturday. Since the close of last season the whole

building has been redecorated, the accesses have been improved, and the method of lighting

changed. This has been effected at a cost of about £3000. While nothing has been done which

materially alters the appearance of the building, additions have been made which will greatly add

to the comfort of those by whom the halls are used during the winter months. Verandahs have

been constructed at the entrances from Kent Road and Berkeley Street similar to the one at the

chief doorway in Granville Street, and the stairways have been widened, so that the largest

audiences can disperse in a few minutes. The stairs from Kent Road have been increased in

width from five feet and a half to 14 feet, and there are special entrances for the artistes, which

will enable them to reach their rooms without mingling with the general audience. The whole

scheme of internal decoration has been altered. The Public Halls Committee of the Corporation

asked half a dozen leading decorators in the city to submit designs, and accepted the one

submitted by Messrs J. B. Bennett  & Sons, Gordon Street. Getting admission 40 days ago, they

set 60 men to work. Before the decoration of the Grand Hall was proceeded with the walls were

coated with paint three times, no less than two and a half tons of white lead being employed in

the operation. Entering from the street, the public will now find themselves in reception halls

and corridors, which are warm in appearance, and in distinct contrast to those with which they

were familiar. The tone of the Grand Hall is parchment, with the features of the architectural

design picked out in gold, aluminium, and Pompeiian red. The roof is lightly treated, the spaces

between the transverse beams being coloured and gilded in such a way that the height of the

hall is seemingly increased. The side walls of the balcony are divided into panels with pilasters,

and are filled in with tripods on each side, with festoons hanging from them surmounting the

name of a celebrated musician, artist, or sculptor. The dado is in delicate contrast, broken into

12 panels, with diaper pattern over all, in shades of ash-green relieved with gold. The balcony

front is panelled in solid gold with Greek ornamental work. The front of the organ has been

considerably altered. The two semi-circular bases beneath the stack of pipes at each side have

been taken away, and the superstructure is supported on gilded corbels. The caryatides in the

centre are decorated in silver and gold, and the angel on the top with outspread wings is

treated in similar fashion. The system of lighting has received special attention, with the view

of obviating the complaints which were so frequent in recent seasons. There are no fewer than

17 electroliers in the main hall, each with 17 electric lamps of 32 candle-power hung in clusters.

As now arranged, the St Andrew’s Halls will rank among the most finely-appointed in the



Please see the Music entry for a short article referring to the Corporation concerts, in the Herald,

on Monday the 5th of September.