Gallus Glasgow J: Jordanhill

David Stow Building, Jordanhill
David Stow Building, Jordanhill

Jordanhill – what can I say? I arrived there in 1990 to work in Jordanhill College Library (later part of Strathclyde University), a job which I thought I might do for two years or so. Twenty two years later, I had the sad job of closing the library down when the University decided to centralise on one campus. Ah well, life goes on and I look back with happy memories (helped by the fact that I documented the closure pretty thoroughly on social media) but no regrets.

Those memories came in handy last year. There aren’t many “J”s to choose from in Glasgow, and Rosemary Cunningham has also used Jordanhill for her (extremely gallusGlasgow Alphabet. When she was creating the map to go with it, she wanted to talk to one person from each place – and there I am, quoted on the back of it. Fame!

Glasgow Alphabet map
Glasgow Alphabet map

Part of the campus had been sold off for housing some years before closure and now the rest of it is up for sale. The three original buildings, including the David Stow above, will be converted into apartments and the rest will be flattened for new build. I recently took a nostalgic walk to the old place to see it again before it becomes unrecognisable, and will blog about that after the challenge.

The next A to Z post, K, is on Monday when I’ll take you to the river.


50 thoughts on “Gallus Glasgow J: Jordanhill

  1. jazzfeathers April 11, 2015 / 12:08

    I can barely believe this. Places like this should be defended with teeth and claws. I can’t believe anyone can think to ‘flatten’ them down.
    Makes me shiver…


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2015 / 12:57

      Actually, the buildings they are going to flatten are nowhere near as attractive as this one – 60s/70s stuff. But I can’t imagine how they are going to fit in the number of houses they say they will. The whole thing makes me personally very sad because I have great affection for the place, but it’s all about making money.


  2. Alex Hurst April 11, 2015 / 14:19

    Awww… I wish they would just restore the whole thing! It’s so beautiful. I’d certainly love to live there. 😦


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2015 / 14:33

      I think we ex-employees will have a mass visit to the show home when it’s ready!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nadine April 11, 2015 / 14:33

    That must have been tough, to let that job go after more than twenty years. A lot of marriages don’t last that long!


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2015 / 14:43

      Ha ha, indeed! Some of my longest ever relationships are with those workmates. Though my marriage is longer…..


  4. Sarah Ferguson April 11, 2015 / 15:12

    What a gorgeous building! I imagine it was a wonderful library.


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2015 / 15:52

      It is a beautiful building, externally at least. It had been hacked about inside over the years, but still retained the original entrance hall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sarah Ferguson April 11, 2015 / 15:57

        I wonder what it will be like as apartments – sometimes, older buildings translate well to such changes. I know a few here in the States that ended up far nicer as apartments than they had been for years (often after neglect). Hopefully, this will fare the same way!


  5. Eli April 11, 2015 / 16:18

    Oh, what a lovely building…Will stay tuned for your blog from your walk there … Can imagine it must have been bittersweet. Anyways always makes me sad to hear about libraries shutting down… Maybe because books have always been “close friends”… In India I was involved in building up a library in the NGO – so amazing to see the joy of those kids being able to borrow a book for the first time….


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2015 / 18:18

      That’s wonderful! All the library books from Jordanhill moved to the main campus, so they weren’t lost, but it’s still sad.


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2015 / 18:21

      It’s crazy – the school in the area is very popular and already oversubscribed. I don’t know how it will cope with loads more people moving in.


  6. Sue Archer April 11, 2015 / 21:30

    That’s quite an impressive building. I’m glad that one isn’t being flattened!


  7. Birgit April 11, 2015 / 22:19

    That is a beautiful building. I hope they don’t destroy it or change the façade. I have seen that happen here more than once


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2015 / 22:56

      I think they will keep the facade, I hope so, but probably not much else ;-(


  8. Christy@SweetandSavoring April 12, 2015 / 01:47

    What a great old building, and how fun that you were quoted on the back of the map! I’d have been tickled if I was quoted, too 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh April 12, 2015 / 06:33

      Yes, I was really pleased and it was lovely meeting Rosie, the artist.


  9. KaTy Did April 12, 2015 / 02:04

    I love the buildings you are posting!


    • Anabel Marsh April 12, 2015 / 06:34

      Thanks – Glasgow has some amazing old buildings. That one’s comparatively new: c1920


  10. Donna April 12, 2015 / 03:53

    Sounds like a wonderful place to work so you were very lucky for a number of years. But still so sad to have a wonderful work place close. I have a friend (from library school) who just lost her job because the law school she was a librarian for is being merged into another law school. Even as a public librarian, I had to deal with mergers (city library became part of the county).


    • Anabel Marsh April 12, 2015 / 06:37

      Yes, it happens all the time here too. One of the reasons I left the job before that, in a public library, was that the council was about to be merged into a bigger one and when that happens you could end up anywhere.


  11. clarabellerant April 12, 2015 / 07:46

    It’s sad to hear of a library closing, but even sadder to hear the whole campus is being almost wiped out. I get this feeling that libraries and schools should be sacred.

    You can find me here:


    • Anabel Marsh April 12, 2015 / 08:35

      If only the people who had to make the decisions thought that way…..


  12. clicksclan April 12, 2015 / 10:12

    You must’ve been at Jordanhill when I was studying there then! I was there from 2004-2008 and lived in the Halls of Residence on campus for the first year (Graham House). Part of the reason why I chose to go to Strathclyde University was because of the incredible campus and it makes me so sad to think that it’s not there any more (even if I can kind of understand the logic of moving all into the centre).

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh April 12, 2015 / 10:19

      Indeed I was! Perhaps we met. I was often on the Enquiry Desk, and my office was at the back of the main desk so I had quite a lot of student contact.


    • Anabel Marsh April 12, 2015 / 17:30

      It is! Very striking – the towers can be seen for miles around.


  13. Guilie Castillo April 12, 2015 / 20:37

    How lovely you stayed on there for so long! Working in a library must be heaven… Well, some of the time 😉 Great post!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter


    • Anabel Marsh April 12, 2015 / 20:40

      Some of the time! Like every job, it had its ups and downs.


  14. johnmarkmiller April 13, 2015 / 00:56

    Wow… What a beautiful place to work! I can only imagine how sad it was to have to close the library down…


    • Anabel Marsh April 13, 2015 / 07:42

      It was. It’s very hard to prepare something for closure while still maintaining services at the same level. I was very down for a few weeks after it happened – then I bounced back and reorganised my life! The human spirit is very resilient.


    • Anabel Marsh April 13, 2015 / 07:47

      Well, that was the main college building, and it does have a beautiful entrance hall and staircase. The library used to be there but was latterly in a much less beautiful building that I’m sure you wouldn’t regret at all!


      • njmagas April 14, 2015 / 01:05

        All of these posts are so beautiful and sad. I’m over here whimpering for the loss of beautiful buildings.


        • Anabel Marsh April 14, 2015 / 08:00

          Too many have already gone. There’s a FB site Lost Glasgow which always makes me feel that way.


          • njmagas April 15, 2015 / 00:54

            Wow, when there’s a FB group dedicated to how much history your town has lost, that might be a sign to get to preserving what’s left. >>;;;

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Celine Jeanjean April 13, 2015 / 09:50

    Oh my, I can’t believe they closed it down! That library is stunning – I would have spent every bit of spare time I had in there, I love beautiful old libraries. It’s such a shame that everything is about money rather than preserving something beautiful like that building.


    • Anabel Marsh April 13, 2015 / 09:59

      The library had actually moved out of that main building many years before, one of the ones to be demolished. The main building will be apartments, but I suspect only the facade might survive. Very sad.


  16. cassam101 April 14, 2015 / 16:12

    The end of an era.My daughter studied there for four years. Lovely building.


  17. Lori L MacLaughlin April 14, 2015 / 18:03

    What a beautiful building! The library in it must have been equally wonderful.


    • Anabel Marsh April 14, 2015 / 18:55

      Well, the library wasn’t as pretty, but it was well used.


  18. Candia October 13, 2016 / 16:46

    Managed to avoid attending more than 2 days a week by enlisting for the post-grad Dip. Ed up at the Uny. Was the only one who attended the RE lecture at Jordanhill. Maybe it was because I elected to term myself a ‘Wee Free’ just to see what they would say!
    I was treated to a lecture all to myself!


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