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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 27/03/1985


  • Local Authority: Renfrewshire
  • Planning Authority: Renfrewshire
  • Burgh: Paisley

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNS 48323 63798
  • Coordinates248323, 663798


J Steel Maitland, architect. Archibald Dawson, sculptor 1926-7.

3-storey monumental public building block with 7 bays, to

Causeyside Street, 6 to New Street, 1 corner bay. Polished

granite plinth with Blaxter sandstone ashlar cladding to reinforced concrete

frame. Bronze window panels. Angle bay, approached by steps

with 2 octagonal columns inset in architrave. 2 enamelled

coats of arms. Over columns Bronze nameplate between bronze

group of Mother and children above.

Windows to two upper floors and attic lunette linked

vertically by bronze panels and flanked by corniced pilasters

supporting architraved, arch with keystone supporting gilded

bronze angel carrying 2 babies. Carved to left and right is

"A DEO SALUS". Cornice with 2 bronze finials. Long

elevations: "pylons" to outer bays,: 3 with slit windows each

floor: 4th to right of Causeyside Street elevation has door

at ground and oriel over rising to attic, supported by stone

angel. Ashlar piers between inner bays at ground each support

bronze figure of infant. Above piers rise through 2 upper

floors, to carved brackets supporting cornices, and parapet.

Ground floor cross windows, 1st and 2nd floors linked

vertically with bronze bands.

Slate roof with later dormers to Causeyside Street.

Return elevation to west has 2 pylons with 5 narrow windows

each floor between. Rear elevations show exposed concrete.

INTERIOR: 2-leaf glazed lobby doors to double-height,

marble-clad entrance hall with compartmented ceiling.

Gallery corridor at 1st floor with star-cut marble balustrade

between columns that rise from ground-floor

pilasters. White marble staircase rising

through segmental arch opposite entrance; marble-architraved

entrances to ground floor corridors flanking stair to each side;

semicircular cantilevered balcony projecting above staircase

supported on large scrolled brown marble bracket that springs

from keystone of staircase arch; cast-bronze plaque to centre

of balcony inscribed 'THIS BUILDING IS GIFTED TO THE



RUSSELL. Staircase divides into 2 from second flight with

elaborate Art-Deco, gold-painted metal balustrade with polished

timber handrail; polished timber benches (many curved to

fit against curved walls) with scrolled legs to stair landings

and other circulation areas. Many other original fixtures remain.

Statement of Special Interest

A monumental public building situated prominently in Paisley town centre on the corner of Causeyside Street and New Street. The Russell Institute was designed by one of Paisley's leading architects and is one of the best examples of his work. No expense was spared in the construction of the building and this is evident from the use of bronze of and stone sculpture on the exterior of the building and the high quality of the interior fixtures.

The Russell Institute was opened by HRH Princess Mary on 19th March 1927. It was donated to Paisley Burgh by Miss Russell (who died before it was completed) as a memorial to her two brothers, Robert and Thomas Russell. It was built as a child welfare clinic and is still used for roughly that purpose. Miss Russell placed no financial restriction on the construction expenses, and the final cost of the building was not revealed.

The architectural practice Abercrombie and Maitland was chosen to design the building. This practice had been established by T G Abercrombie in 1886 and by the early 20th century was the leading architectural practice in Paisley. In about 1920 Abercrombie employed J S Maitland as his assistant, and took him into partnership 3 years later. Maitland was given responsibility for designing the Russell Institute from the start, and continued the practice on his own following Abercrombie's death in 1926.

The building originally had bronze or wrought-iron balconies to the 1st floor windows; these were removed in about 1960.

Upgraded from category B to A 3 October 2005.



Souvenir Brochure of opening. Historical information from

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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