Listen to Cleland Testimonial 249 Buchanan Street:
A monument to a remarkable man
As we stand on the corner of Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street, we can see the Cleland Testimonial building, a hugely significant structure in the development of Glasgow as a City, and a monument to a remarkable man.
Niall invites historian Ronnie Scott to tell the story of James Cleland, a cabinetmaker who made his mark as a highly influential public servant. As Superintendent of Public Works he transformed Glasgow Green into a public park but was also a forward-thinking statistician. Glasgow was the first UK city to carry out a census under Cleland’s guidance.
Cleland died in 1840 just six years after he retired from public office but he spent the last few years of his life in the building in front of us which had been commissioned to honour his services to the city.
A statue was not deemed an appropriate monument for the innovative and influential Cleland, and so this neo-classical building was designed by the Glasgow’s first professional architect, David Hamilton in 1835.