Possibly by John Baird 1827-8; interior remodelled by Charles H Robinson 1900. Large bar, dining room and coffee room complex with entrances to both Morrison Court and Argyll Arcade and exceptional decorative interiors to upper floors.
MORRISON COURT ELEVATION: 3-storey, 7-bay, tenement-style with rounded angles. Painted squared and coursed masonry. Ground floor altered with evidence of segmental carriage arch in penultimate left bay, entrances to centre, left and right bays.
ARGYLL ARCADE ENTRANCE: segmental-arched columned timber entrance with deeply recessed glazed timber 2-leaf doors with sidelights leading to marble staircase and highly decorative tiled vestibule including cream, blue, green, yellow and brown patterned tiles and dado with regularly spaced floriate tiled columns.
INTERIOR: exceptional, highly decorative circa 1900 Art Nouveau scheme with outstanding carved timberwork and high quality plasterwork with Classical motifs. Ground floor altered. Timber island bar with columned timber gantry. Ornate arcaded glazed timber screen with etched glass with 2-leaf door leads to impressive panelled stairwell with mosaic floor and large wall painting at 1st floor landing. Ornate heavy dark timber staircase with decorative newel posts.
1st floor: arcaded glazed timber screens with etched glass to spine corridor with rooms leading off. To left of corridor: large dining room with timber panelled dado with bell pushes and deep frieze to cornice with low relief plasterwork with putti. Strapwork plasterwork to ceiling. Further smaller dining room with similar decorative treatment and ornate chimneypiece with overmantle mirror. To right of corridor: small bar with similar decorative treatment and further rooms including kitchen area. Glass chandeliers to principal rooms, some Art Nouveau stained glass.
2nd floor: large ballroom with vaulted coffered ceiling and parquet floor. Timber dado supports regularly spaced pilasters with plaster heads. Deep cornice with open pediments, egg and dart moulding and festoons. Classical marble chimneypiece with horseshoe tiled insert and overmantle mirror. Stained glass windows with wreath motif.
Mixture of glazing types, predominantly 2-pane over 2-pane timber sash and case windows with horns to top floor (with stained glass, see interior), some timber casement windows to 1st floor. Dormered mansard roof to outer 2 left bays with adjacent wallhead chimneystack.
Statement of Special Interest
Sloans is a rare example of a bar, dining room and coffee house complex with an exceptional opulent Art Nouveau interior. The upper floors contain dining rooms, smoking rooms and an impressive ballroom. The tiled entrance from the Argyll Arcade is of exceptional quality. Also of particular note is the quality of the timberwork, such as the arcaded glazed screens and impressive staircase. The decorative plasterwork is of some quality and completes the rich decorative scheme.
Probably constructed as part of the Argyll Arcade (see separate listing) in 1827-8 by John Baird, the interior was remodelled in 1900 by Charles Robinson. The later interior work was commissioned by David Sloan, a prominent Glasgow publican of the era. Known then as the Arcade Café, Kenna & Mooney note that it 'consisted of richly furnished dining rooms, coffee rooms and bars, in addition to a "cigar and tobacco divan" to which businessmen could retire'.
Charles Robinson specialised in ornate bar interiors and very few examples of his work are thought to survive. Kenna & Mooney quote the National Guardian of January 3, 1894 which described Robinson as 'one of the most successful designers of the new bar'. Category changed from B to A in November 1996.
List description updated as part of the Public Houses thematic study 2007-08.
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