Friday, January 20, 2017

Travels with our Grandkids III e – Edinburgh and Glasgow

From the outset, the Scottish Parliament building and its construction were controversial. Begun in 1999 with completion planned for 2001, it actually opened in 2004, £400 million over-budget. The design won numerous awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize, and, according to Wikipedia, has been described as a tour de force of Arts & Crafts design and quality ‘without parallel.’  It also placed fourth in a 2008 poll on what UK buildings people would most like to see demolished.

I think the driver on the tour bus Keara and I were on in 2007 might have been one of the folks who placed this building so high in the demolition rankings the following year. We drove by so fast that, by the time he even mentioned what it was, we'd missed most of it.

On to Glasgow, where I had been looking forward to showing Keara the Gallery of Modern Art.  It’s housed in the iconic former Stock Exchange building, the columns and façade of which had been undergoing a major cleaning the last time I was in Glasgow. It was a little disappointing to find that the cleaning had apparently gone so well that they decided to wrap the elegant Corinthian capitals snugly in layers of black netting to keep them clean and pigeon-free.