Additions to 53 Muslin Street

M171 Additions to 53 Muslin Street

Address: 53, Muslin Street, Glasgow
Date: 1899
Client: Trustees of the late Gavin Paterson
Authorship: Authorship category 3 (Office with Mackintosh) (Office with Mackintosh)

The construction of additions to tenements for indoor W.C.s was one of the most common types of work carried out by John Honeyman & Keppie during the 1890s and was a response to the sanitary improvements required by the 1892 Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, which stipulated that, where not already existing, an indoor water supply, indoor water closets and drainage should be introduced to every domestic building. 1 The firm carried out many such jobs, including 34 Carrick Street and 110–118 Holm Street.

The three-storey tenement in Muslin Street contained two two-roomed flats and two single apartments – known as 'single ends' – on each floor and was typical of tenements built in the E. end of Glasgow in the 1830s and 1840s to house industrial workers. These 12 dwellings, and perhaps others, would have shared a single outdoor privy in the back yard. 2 In this district, Bridgeton, with its many brickworks, tenement buildings like this were frequently built in brick, at least at the rear. 3 John Honeyman and Keppie's small and simple addition was also constructed in brick. A note on the drawing dating three days prior to approval from Glasgow Dean of Guild Court states that the 'windows will be built of white enamel bricks.'

Life in Muslin Street was captured in 1896 in a painting by John Quinton Pringle, a good friend of Mackintosh at the Glasgow School of Art.

Colour photograph of painting 'Muslin Street', 1896 by John Quinton Pringle



1: Paragraph 246, Ch. 55, Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892, General Public Acts 55 & 56 Vict, HMSO, 1892, p. 462.

2: Frank Worsdall, The Tenement: A Way of Life, Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers, 1979, pp. 83–4.

3: Frank Worsdall, The Tenement: A Way of Life, Edinburgh: W. & R. Chambers, 1979, p. 33.