This dissertation comprises a descriptive and analytical account of the workings of the Glasgow City Improvement Trust (from 1895, the Glasgow City Improvement Department), together with a comprehensive inventory of its architectural output. A trawl of library catalogues in the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews and Strathclyde, as well as the Glasgow School of Art, suggests this subject is largely uncovered by academic enquiry. Brian Edwards' Ph. D thesis (cited in the Bibliography) has been the most definitive so far, dealing diligently with the Glasgow Improvement Act 1866, though it disregards the arguably more important Act of 1897. Several published narratives have touched on the subject too, but most have done so indirectly and superficially. Perfunctory treatment has helped entrench a number of inaccuracies regarding attribution. The 'Buildings of Scotland' Penguin series is not alone in ascribing St. George's Mansions, for instance, to the City Improvement Department. In fact, these buildings were erected by the Corporation's Statute Labour Department. Errors of this nature illustrate the need for a definitive bank of hard documentation. It is the author's hope the following thesis will fulfil that requirement.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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