Charles Rennie Mackintosh is one of the most famous designers of the 20th century. In Glasgow, no architectural achievement stands out more than the Willow Tea Rooms. It is an icon of the city and has been since the grand opening in 1903. Over the last century, the facility has undergone many revamps – including restoration to the original fabric and interior design. Now, it is proud to receive a lottery grant for further restoration.
About the Willow Tea Rooms
The original owner of the Willow Tea Rooms (Kate Cranston) employed Mackintosh to design the structure’s exterior and decorate the interior. The initial grant of £250,000 could become part of a larger £3.7m scheme. This depends on success of the plans to revamp the tea rooms as presented to the HLF. The owners and Glasgow council acknowledge that the building is in a poor state of repair and needs vital funds to improve the structure and restore the interiors to its former glory. The Tea Rooms are presently closed to the public. It has got so bad that the city is concerned that the building may be lost forever.
That is why this building is so important. Mackintosh’s designs are unique, looking back to an aspirational and glitz-filled turn of the century. Every town and city that has one of his works cherishes it as a modern masterpiece of architecture, art and design.The lottery fund is not the only grant; £250,000 council money is available, so is a further £200,00 from Glasgow Heritage Trust, £175,000 from Dunard Fund and £10,000 from the Architectural Trust. The Trust and locals are hopeful that the Willow Tea Rooms will once again open its doors to the public, serving tea and coffee and a selection of cakes.