Clearing Tenements, Springburn Road (c.1975)


Redevelopment was taking place in Glasgow on a dramatic scale throughout the 1960s and 70s. In Sighthill, this included the construction of ten blocks of high rise flats during the mid-1960s, and the construction of the M8 motorway in this area in the early 1970s. This image reflects this dramatic programme of demolition and rebuilding, showing the demolition of tenements on Springburn Road, opposite St Rollox works, ahead of road construction. Taken around 1975, one of the Sighthill high rises looms in the background. Architectural historian Barnabas Calder has noted that the replacements for slum tenements were only a marginal upgrade, the lack of connectedness being a major problem, and a “terrible decision” not to give Sighthill its own railway station due to a “characteristically 1960s faith in roads” (in Leslie’s Disappearing Glasgow (2016)). This is renewal at its most crude, its most brutal.