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Tait Tower (also known as Tait's Tower and officially as the Tower of Empire) was a tower in the art deco style constructed at the summit of Bellahouston Hill in Bellahouston Parkmarker in Glasgowmarker in Scotlandmarker as part of the Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938.

It was designed by Thomas S. Tait, stood 300 feet high (91.44 metres) and had three separate observation decks which provided a view of the surrounding gardens and city. Due to both the height of the tower and the hill it was built on, it could be seen 100 miles (160 km) away. The tower was the centrepiece of the Empire Exhibition and its image featured on many of the souvenirs that could be bought at the exhibition site.

The Empire Exhibition took place at a time when Glasgow was the centre of British shipbuilding and engineering, and the materials - steel beams riveted together and clad in corrugated steel - were produced by Glasgow manufacuring plants. Tait's design and readily available materials made it possible for the tower to be constructed in only nine weeks.

Although it was to have been a permanent monument to the exhibition, the tower was demolished in July 1939, allegedly because it would provide a beacon for enemy bombers although it has been claimed this is an urban myth. The University of Glasgowmarker's Gilmorehill building was at least as prominent and was not demolished. The order to demolish the tower was actually given in July 1939, three months before the war started. Only the foundations now remain.

Thomas' son Gordon Tait also worked on the project.

In December 2007, the Tait Tower was included in a 3D graphic reconstruction of the Empire Exhibition by the Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Artmarker, sourced from contemporary photographs, film footage, sketches and drawings from the archive of the Mitchell Librarymarker.

References

  1. Glasgow's Great Exhibitions, P & J Kinchin, White Cockade Publishing.)


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