Listen to RW Forsyth & Ca’ d’Oro Building Gordon Street:
Fashions change, style endures
Roger Guthrie helps Niall uncover Baroque influence in the dramatic architecture of two ornate buildings with a colourful history.
The name has gone but clues to the original R W Forsyth’s department store remain in the female figures symbolising fashion – and changing seasons.
Like many other great Glasgow buildings the department store began life as a warehouse, this one built in 1856 by Boucher & Cousland. Celebrated Scottish architect Sir John James Burnet then made extensive alterations in 1896 creating a corner building of grand style.
Look at the opposite corner, the Venetian Renaissance building was originally a furniture warehouse. Built by Glasgow church architect John Honeyman in 1872, Ca’ d’Oro is said to have been based on the ‘Golden House’ in Venice.
The lacy cast iron facade caused American architectural historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock to describe this as one of the best streets in Glasgow… if not in Europe.