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In Memory of Gavin Stamp

Architectural historian, teacher, writer, conservation activist and commentator.

Perhaps in our near 20 year involvement in the Egyptian Halls Project one of USP and USI and my greatest defenders/enablers was Gavin Stamp who passed away 30th December aged 69. And he has been praised and praised and praised some more for his outstanding contribution to architecture and the protection of Britain’s declining (sadly!) built heritage these past 40 years or so.

In the guise of Piloti from Private Eye’s “Nooks and Corners” he championed our Egyptian Halls schemes (apart from Demolition!) and lambasted in no particular order GCC, Historic Scotland, GDA, SE Glasgow and the various Scottish Governments.

The Alexander Greek Thomson Society of which Gavin Stamp was a former chairman posted the following beautiful and heartfelt eulogy.

Sadly the year ended with the loss of the greatest champion of Greek Thomson’s legacy, Dr Gavin Stamp. Gavin was our founding chairman and a Thomson fanatic. During his tenure with the Society he oversaw the publication of three books on Thomson’s work, the largest retrospective exhibition of his work ever held, and played a major part in campaigns to save his buildings. His passion and enthusiasm converted many to his belief that Thomson was one of Glasgow’s greatest architects, whilst the righteous anger he brought to the lectern and his writings emphasised the need for action to protect his threatened buildings. Gavin put it mildly when he said that upon arriving in Glasgow he noticed, “Thomson was a great architect who needed some help”. Thomson received that and more from Gavin, who, amongst his many accomplishments, was instrumental in organising the purchase of Holmwood House by the National Trust for Scotland, and its protection for future generations. He leaves behind a noble and vital legacy that focused in part on the preservation of the legacies of others. We are immensely grateful that as a Society we were able to benefit from his sharp wit, his brilliant intellect and his tireless commitment for so many year.

And the Guardian amongst a raft of other publications stated.

Gavin Stamp - Architectural historian who campaigned to save notable buildings from destruction.
London seemed his inevitable home, until in 1990 he took a job lecturing in architectural history at the Glasgow School of Art and moved with his family to a terrace house built and inhabited by the Scottish architect Alexander “Greek” Thomson in the mid 19th century. Stamp became one of Thomson’s great champions at a time when his architectural legacy was imperilled (as a few of his buildings still are), and founded a society in Thomson’s name that helped elevate his reputation close to that of a later Glasgow architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Use the button to view Gavin Stamp in his absolute pomp.

Or pick up his impressive 1999 tome “Alexander Thomson - The Unknown Genius” His influence was immense and his legacy if we can will see the Egyptian Halls preserved and returned to the long term commercial sustainability it should have been enjoying since 2001-2002.

Gavin Stamp - RIP