36 Jamaica Street, Glasgow. G1 4QD. Tel: 0141 221 2624.
The Crystal Palace opened in August 2000.
This pub is something of an architectural landmark. Designed by John Baird, its iron and glass construction was inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, a huge greenhouse-like building, the centrepiece of the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was built during 1855–1856 to the designs of John Baird, who had used an exposed iron frame as early as 1827 in the hammerbeam roof of the nearby Argyll Arcade.
The iron and glass structure of the building now occupied by this J.D. Wetherspoon free house “The Crystal Palace” was inspired by Joseph Paxton’s famous Crystal Palace.
A pioneering departure from traditional building methods, the Crystal Palace was a huge greenhouse-like building, with over a quarter of a million paned of glass. The centre-piece of the Great Exhibition of 1851, it was 600 yards long and tall enough to enclose the mature trees of London’s Hyde Park.
Joseph Paxton was head gardener to the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth in Derbyshire. In the late 1830s, he designed a glasshouse at Chatsworth using ideas later incorporated in his Crystal Palace.
Iron framing had been used to construct fireproof factories since the late 1700s. Not long afterwards, English glassmakers adopted French technological innovation, and by the 1840s, large sheets of plate glass could be made. Paxton’s inspiration was to combine the two ideas into a structural whole.
The success of Paxton’s Crystal Palace earned him a knighthood, and £5,000 from the profits of the Exhibition. He later became MP for Coventry. Paxton also designed Glasgow’s West End Park – better known as Kelvingrove Park – and advised the layout of Queen’s Park.
Do you remember any of the old pubs on Jamaica Street? If so please leave a comment.
Do you have any memories of the Crystal Palace? If so please leave a comment.