Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For the pathway in London, see Rotten Row.
Rottenrow is a famous street in the city of Glasgow in Scotland. It is located in the northern periphery of the city centre.
Rottenrow dates back to the city's medieval beginnings, and once connected the historic High Street to the northern reaches of what is now the Cowcaddens area. The origins of the street's name is subject to debate - some historians claim that it comes from the fact that the area was originally used as a dumping ground for refuse and sewage by the Glaswegians of the period. Others believe that it is derived from the Gaelic phrase Rat-an-righ, which translates as "Road Of The Kings" - presumably in relation to its close proximity to Glasgow Cathedral.
The street became dissected and realigned by the exponential growth of Glasgow's city centre during the Industrial Revolution, and then by the rapid development of the campus of the University of Strathclyde in the 1960s and 1970s.
Rottenrow is best known however as the address of the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital (usually nicknamed by locals simply as "The Rottenrow"), founded in 1834, and became a world-renowned centre of excellence in gynecology for over 100 years.
However the Maternity Hospital building had become inadequate for modern requirements by the end of the 20th century, and had fallen into a state of serious disrepair. In 2001, the hospital moved into a state-of-the-art extension to nearby Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and the building was purchased by the University of Strathclyde and subsequently demolished.
The site was redeveloped by the University into a public park designed by Gross Max landscape architects. Known as Rottenrow Gardens, the centrepiece of the park is George Wyllie's 'Monument to Maternity', a sculpture depicting a giant metal nappy (i.e. diaper) pin. The front and side porticos, foundation and basement walls of the Maternity Hospital were preserved, and incorporated into the design of the park. Rottenrow Gardens was officially opened in 2004. Some elements of the park will be permanent, others being temporary in anticipation of future Strathclyde campus expansion and renewal.

No comments: