St Vincent Street Church is the sole survivor of three churches designed for the city of Glasgow by the influential and renowned Scottish architect Alexander Thomson. Commissioned in 1856 and dedicated in 1859, Thomson designed the church in an almost abstract form of classicism following Greek models. Designed as a temple, the rectangular-plan building displays six massive, fluted Ionic columns supporting a full width pediment across the front façade. A square stone tower is set on the east façade and is richly decorated with classical motifs, Egyptian-style doors, and an “Indian” dome. The entire building is set upon a colossal plinth. The colorful interior is adorned with classical Greek and Egyptian motifs. The building was described by American architectural historian, Henry Russell Hitchcock, as one of the three finest Romantic Classical churches in the world.
How we helped
St Vincent Street Church was placed on the Watch in 1998, 2004 and, 2006. WMF subsequently contributed to the restoration of the church tower, which is a prominent architectural feature characteristic of Thomson’s style. The tower is an enduring feature of Glasgow’s skyline, as it is visible from many areas of the city.
St Vincent Street Church is the only remaining building of three churches commissioned by the city of Glasgow in 1856 to be designed by Alexander Thomson. The renowned and nationally influential Scottish architect is considered to have designed, in these three buildings, among the finest Romantic Classical churches in the world.