Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Central Police Office


Architect: Alexander Beith McDonald (1847-1915).
Sculptor: Richard Ferris (fl. 1886-1915).
Location: Central Police Office, Turnbull Street, Glasgow.
Date executed: 1903-6.

Central Police Office

The Central Police Office, later the Glasgow District Court, was designed by Alexander Beith McDonald in 1903, and was built in the Scottish Renaissance style at a cost of 36,000. The building's sculpture is concentrated around the cenral gable, and was executed in red Locharbriggs sandstone by Richard Ferris , of McGilvray & Ferris . The building opened on 23 March 1906.

Central Police Office Central Police Office

The gable is filled with a splendid City Arms, boldly carved in relief, and is flanked by seated figures on pedestals. These comprise a male figure holding a scroll, symbolizing Law, and a female holding a sword and a set of scales, symbolizing Justice.

Central Police Office

Their costumes are historical and provide the source of the attribution to Richard Ferris as their sculptor. The dress worn by the female is identical those worn by his statues on the Distillers' Building, 64 Waterloo Street and Kingston Public Halls, 330-46 Paisley Road; their shared, three buttoned cuffs, puffed sleeves and the modelling of their faces providing conclusive evidence of their shared authorship.


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