Z to the Tunnel Vision - Glasgow

The station was opened on 10 August 1896 by the Glasgow Central Railway. The station building was on ground level, and the platforms were underground, beneath the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. It was closed between 1 January 1917 and 2 March 1919 due to wartime economy, and closed permanently to passengers on 6 February 1939, with the line being closed on 5 October 1964. The site of Botanic Gardens Station remains derelict to this day, over forty years after the fire. The platforms still remain underground where they can be seen from above through still open air vents in the Botanic Gardens, and the floor of the building is still visible within the fenced-off section of the gardens marking where it stood. The platforms are accessible via the tunnel portal. An abandoned tramway kiosk designed in the same style as the building and built in 1903 is still present at the site. The site is heavily overgrown, now 3x vandalised by ZENGA and dilapidated and is considered dangerous to enter… The huge fabricated steel knuckle braces which were installed a few years ago did’t ruin the atmosphere of the station, but they add another layer to the composition, especially now they’ve been integrated by decorating them with a coat of graffiti. Perhaps the most striking parallel is with New York: just as the City Union Line is Glasgow’s “High Line”, the Botanic Gardens station represents this city’s “Freedom Tunnels”_ complete with screeds of graffiti and shafts of sunlight penetrating down from the public park above. The High Line in Manhattan is a celebrated example of old railway infrastructure – simultaneously very visible, yet difficult to reach – made accessible and brought into the public realm.

Never Sorry teilVier