Pettigrew & Stephens

M124 Pettigrew & Stephens

Address: 181–193, Sauchiehall Street; Bath Street, Glasgow
Date: 1896; 1899–1901; 1903–7; 1909–10; 1913–15
Client: Pettigrew & Stephens
Authorship: Authorship category 2 (Mackintosh and Office) (Mackintosh and Office)

Photograph of Pettigrew & Stephens lantern at Hunterian Art Gallery

Pettigrew & Stephens began as a modest corner draper's shop with a narrow frontage to the important retail thoroughfare of Sauchiehall Street. In 1896 John Honeyman & Keppie carried out alterations to combine it with the shop next door. Then, between 1899 and 1901, they entirely rebuilt it, transforming it into a palatial department store with a landmark dome. Between 1903 and 1906 they extended it into the former Art Institute Galleries next door, and in 1914 they designed new shopfronts.

Authorship: Mackintosh's involvement appears to have been limited, and confined to the first two phases of work. His handwriting appears on at least one of the 1896 drawings for uniting the original shop with its neighbour. As for the major rebuilding of 1899–1901, a former assistant, W. S. Moyes, later recalled that John Keppie was responsible for the design. However, the Dean of Guild plans approved in 1899 appear to have been drawn by Mackintosh. The exterior details of the building were largely in a mainstream Italian Renaissance style, characteristic of Keppie's work, but the drawings show curvilinear roundels in the dormer pediments, which must be Mackintosh's. The ogee-capped lantern on top of the dome (preserved after the building was demolished) has parallels with some earlier designs by Mackintosh, such as the 1893–4 tower of the Glasgow Herald building. The lantern has been widely accepted as Mackintosh's, although there is no documentary evidence for this. Inside, the tea room incorporated built-in furniture with a marked resemblance to Mackintosh's work at Dunglass Castle, Dunbartonshire, and the Waerndorfer music salon in Vienna.
Corroboratory evidence for the authorship of the lantern and dormer roundels is provided by Ronald Harrison, an early student of Mackintosh's architecture in the 1930s, who had access to the office records. He included the dome and dormers of Pettigrew & Stephens on lists he compiled of works he believed to be by Mackintosh and of drawings produced in the office during Mackintosh's time. Harrison also made tracings of two original drawings of these features. 1

Alternative names: Manchester House.

Alternative addresses:
West Campbell Street
Bath Street

Cost from office job book: Phase 1: £746 11s 5d; Phase 2: £37,926 14s 9d; Phase 3: £2390 4s 4d; Phase 4: £536 6s 10d; Phase 5: £4545 9s 1½d

Cost from other sources: In May 1901, immediately after the 1899–1901 rebuilding, the premises were valued at £57,500. This figure excluded the electric lighting and steam heating systems, kitchen fittings, sprinklers and pneumatic tubes, 'which the Architects tell us have cost £6750'. It also excluded shelving, counters and furniture. 2

Status: Building demolished; lantern salvaged and preserved at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

RCAHMS Site Number: NS56NE 761

Grid Reference: NS 5867 6582

GPS coordinates: lat = 55.864773, lng = -4.259916   (Map)


1: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: GLAHA 52337 (M1244-014); GLAHA 52473 (M1244-013).

2: University of Glasgow Archive Services: House of Fraser archive, valuation of Pettigrew & Stephens building, 15 May 1901, GB0248 FRAS 115/1.