Biro and Indian ink on collage of recycled envelopes
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When it opened in the mid-1960s this was SOGAT House. The Society of Graphical and Allied Trades (SOGAT) was proud of its origins as a craft workers union.
For some reason the name above the door changed to Typographical House. Then the Typo disappeared and it became simply Graphical House. The union occupied some of the offices, and let out the rest. The meeting hall on the first floor often echoed to the sound of lively Trades Council meetings.
Typographical House has seen several incarnations. After the Trades Council moved across the river to Carlton Place, the meeting hall was leased to the Ceilidh Club. Once again Glasgow’s live music reinvented a redundant space. If we walk round the corner into Maxwell Street we can still see evidence of the Riverside Club which occupied the first floor for over 20 years years until 2007. Their proud motto was Blood, Sweat and Reels.
It is still owned by Unite (which eventually absorbed the print unions among others). Typographical House is not a listed building so therefore it is also not on the Buildings at Risk Register
Property developers have shown interest in demolishing the building to make way for luxury flats. But the old office block is in the central conservation area so there might be hope for it.
I hope so, it is one of my favourite buidlings in Glasgow.
I visited Morrison’s bar, which was on the ground floor, before it closed due to flooding about 9 or 10 years ago. The interior of the bar was immaculate and very classy, and I felt like I was stepping back in time to the 60’s. The proportions inside were neat and human-sized, and the décor was simple, chic and clean, resembling the lines of a cruise ship with its deco inspired curved bar.