The Argyll Arcade is one of Europe’s oldest covered shopping arcades and Scotland’s first ever indoor shopping mall. The L-shaped arcade was built in 1827 in the Parisian style. The arcade was cut through old tenements and provides a link between Argyle Street and Buchanan Street.
The building was Grade A listed in 1970 recognising its special architectural and historic national importance. The property offers fine and little-altered examples of early Victorian architecture and is notable for its novel use of cast iron construction methods. The glass roof, for example, is supported with ornate “hammer-beam” roof trusses.
Designed by John Baird (1798-1859), his early Glasgow work included the design for the Greyfriars United Presbyterian Church in North Albion Street. This was later followed by the United Presbyterian Church in Wellington Street, the central town house of Claremont Terrace, the Prince’s Buildings on Buchanan Street and various buildings on the Gilmorehill campus of Glasgow University.
Baird’s style adhered to modifications of Greek and Roman architecture with only an occasional divergence towards the Tudor and early British Renaissance styles. He died at home in December 1859 and was survived by a widow and two daughters.