IT’S by no means a certainty but, as things stand, it doesn’t look good for the ABC, one of Scotland’s best-loved music venues.
The fire that started in the Glasgow School of Art also destroyed the ABC, an iconic building where hundreds of thousands of people have found fun for generations.
There has been much gnashing of teeth about the loss of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece.
Between their tears at the loss and their vows to rebuild, the great and the good in charge of “The Mack” seem to have forgotten the ABC.
In its 144 years, the Category A listed building has been everything from a circus to a dance hall, cinema and even a Diorama theatre.
People have enjoyed all sorts of nights out there, found love there, and made memories there.
Now, that illustrious history is likely to end as developers look to demolish the famous venue.
This is not good news, not least for the businesses in Sauchiehall Street still reeling from the aftershocks of the previous blaze, the fire at Victoria’s Nightclub, as well as having been severely impacted, some terminally so, by the City’s ongoing regenerative road works.
Now, just when the works are nearing completion, when parliamentary investigations into establishing blame are entering full flow, and when some form of normality and hope for the future has finally returned to this beleaguered street, we are told the whole area of the ABC is about to be flattened.
Yes, the wrecking balls are being prepared to bring yet more misery and chaos to this epochal street.
And what, exactly, will replace it?
Cheap digs? More student flats? More fast food outlets? Yet another low-end budget hotel?
Not a 1,250-capacity live music venue. The ABC, I vehemently argue, added more value and a lot more to the city’s coffers than the Glasgow School of Art ever did.
The ABC was a vital component in Glasgow’s night-time economy, particularly in the live music sector.
It was a popular venue for touring bands and fans alike. A place that appealed to the masses, not just a select few.
Loved by the people and for the people, it was a building steeped in cultural heritage that had more historical importance and significance than the Glasgow School of Art.
The Mack, had architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh still been alive today, would not have been rebuilt after its first fire.
The public have already started online petitions to stop the flattening of the ABC, but that, I’m afraid, won’t be enough!
It’s high time for Historic Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Live, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government got together to step in and stop this cultural vandalism, before it’s too late.
The slavering developers waiting in the wings must have their wings clipped, or Glasgow’s famous entertainment mile will become yet another bleak, though well paved and tree-lined avenue, lacking in choice and live entertainment.
And that, in a city that boasts its coveted status as a UNESCO City of Music, is just not on.
That hits a bum note with everyone!