A historic building described as one of the finest Georgian townhouses in the UK is coming to the Glasgow property market by the end of the year.
A major restoration project is underway to transform the A-listed Laurieston House into 11 luxury apartments, preserving a building that has been on the ‘at risk’ register since the late 1990s.
Built in 1806, its ornate interior plasterwork is believed to have been the work of Francisco Bernasconi, who was brought to Britain by George III to decorate Windsor Castle.
Prospective tenants will exit their apartments via four roof-lit elliptical staircases and onto Carlton Place via a curved Doric portico.
The Greek Revival style flourishes are said to be the earliest example in Scotland and may have been influenced by excavations at Pompeii.
Carlton Place is made up of two identical long neoclassical terraces which were designed as a unique architectural concept, a first in Glasgow, and built by brothers John and David Laurie.
Laurieston House was the centerpiece of the terrace and the home of the brothers.
The original architect was Peter Nicholson, who is considered one of the most important of his time, and the work was completed by John Baird Senior.
The restoration is overseen by Glasgow architects Elder and Cannon on behalf of property company MMLL Apartments Ltd.
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“The terrace set is probably the oldest residential project on the south side of the city,” said Tom Connolly, company director.
“The public areas and the ground floor and first floor have been recognized as some of the most important private apartments in Britain due to the ornate plasterwork.
“The stairs are exceptional, a tour de force of early 19th century workmanship.
“Laurieston House was originally two palace-fronted townhouses in the middle of the terrace and they are to be joined together to form 11 apartments.
“This is an adaptive restoration project, which means you are keeping all the important parts of the building for contemporary use.”
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The derelict building was acquired by the Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust in the late 1990s and extensive repairs have been carried out. It was used as a center for disabled children until the 1980s, but has since stood empty.
Planning permission for the apartments was granted in 2019 and the year-long restoration project began last year and will include cleaning and restoration work on the blond sandstone exterior.
Glasgow City Council has previously said it welcomes the preservation of one of the city’s “most precious” buildings.
The apartments should be available for rent by the end of the year.
“They are truly spectacular,” added Mr Connolly, who said they will be marketed as executive apartments, which are typically fully furnished rentals with full kitchens and designer furnishings.
He said the development would help regenerate the area south of the River Clyde.
“Tradeston is on the rise,” he said.
“The north side of the river has been improved so there is now an opportunity for the south side of the river, connected by the suspension bridge, as the bridge divides the two terraces of Carlton Place and takes you to the south side.”
Historic Environment Scotland said Laurieston House had been listed as Grade A “in recognition of its outstanding architectural and historic interest”.
A spokeswoman added: ‘The survival of its fine classical plasterwork decoration in the interior is particularly exceptional for its date and type of building.’
She said the changes made by the developers would be specific to each building and had to be “appropriate and sympathetic” and would be approved by Glasgow City Council.