Why is it important to preserve Glasgow’s historic House of Fraser department store, which is under threat?
With the news that Buchanan Street’s famous House of Fraser building has been ‘left to rot’ and is showing signs of serious water ingress that could lead to collapse, we examine its historic significance and why its repair is a national concern.
In 1849, House of Fraser began as a small drapery shop on the corner of Argyle and Buchanan Streets in Glasgow.
By the end of WWII, the company had grown into a national chain, with Dickins and Jones, Binns, and the Scottish Drapery Corporation among the many British companies it had acquired.
The historic House of Fraser building was reported to be suffering from serious water damage over the weekend.
The shop has been ‘left to rot,’ with high-up bosses ignoring the issues, according to a whistleblower who told the Daily Express.
Since Hugh Fraser and James Arthur opened their first shop, the building has been designated as a historic site.
Hugh Fraser was born in Dunbartonshire in 1815, the son of a farmer, and went on to work as an apprentice at Stewart and McDonald Ltd, a well-known Glasgow drapery warehouse, eventually rising to the position of warehouse manager.
James Arthur had owned a retail drapery business in Paisley before appointing a manager to focus on the Arthur and Fraser partnership.
Sign up for Glasgow Livenewsletters to get more breaking news delivered to your inbox.
The business grew quickly, and it expanded into adjacent buildings on Argyle Street to accommodate a wholesale trade.
This wholesale business was moved to a larger site in Miller Street in 1856, and the retail side of the shop was expanded into the vacant buildings left behind, resulting in the House of Fraser building we know today.
Hugh and James’ friendship did not last the test of time, despite the fact that the company has been around for decades.
Tensions between the men arose by 1865, and their partnership was dissolved; Hugh Fraser took over the retail side of the business, while James Arthur took over the wholesale side.
Hugh went on to work at Alexander McLaren’s store as a store manager.
Short summary of Infosurhoy.