I have this week been considering buildings which were erected many years ago by architects and their sponsors who had an eye for attractive exteriors which did not detract in any way from the use the building would be put to.
I am sure that most people have visited Kelvingrove Museum and admired its architecture. Likewise the Merchants City in Glasgow where all the buildings have features to admire rather than just a boring box like structure. Well Girvan has been blessed with a few buildings where the architect has incorporated attractive features into the external design.
Carrick Buildings, once Girvan High School is one to consider as is the McKechnie Institute and we must not overlook Galbraith Pritchards building in Hamilton Street and the Davidson Hospital plus I am sure there are many more, all of which were built to enhance the area they were in. You can look around Girvan and see premises such as the shops in Knockushion Street that were built all with an eye to their appearance as well as use. In the main most of these distinguished buildings are public buildings coming under council care and need to be properly maintained, but are they? We are all made very aware that the council are short of funds, but to build up reserves at the expense of maintaining these wonderful old buildings seems to me to be a very big mistake.
The McKechnie Institute has been a concern for some years and I can remember it being mooted by the Council as being too costly to keep.
It is a building Girvan should be proud of as it belongs to an era when buildings were designed to please the inhabitants of the town and maintenance should be a priority. Thankfully this building has been maintained due to pressure from the townsfolk, but how long will this last? Nowadays it is all down to costs and the cheapest tender always seems to be accepted.
I wonder when we will see a public building emerge with all the attractiveness of those mentioned above and not just a box like facility suitable for a limited period of time. I have heard that some buildings have been erected with a limited life span as it is cheaper to knock it down and build a new one than maintain the original. Well we seem to be in a time when it is cheaper to replace items than have them repaired. The next time you walk around Girvan, Maybole, Barr or Dailly look at all the fine buildings there are, all probably relating to a previous era and appreciate what went into designing them.
See you next week.