Alexander “Greek” Thomson

Alexander “Greek” Thomson

The Acorn Hotel was designed by eminent Glaswegian architect Alexander “Greek” Thomson in the mid 1800s.

Alexander “Greek” Thomson was one of Scotland’s most famous architects who was born 9 April 1817. He earned his nickname by his use of the iconic Greek styles in his buildings and designs. Due to his success The Glasgow Institute of Architects set up a scholarship in his name and the second person to receive this award also became one of Scotland’s most famous architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Although being an apprentice previously, Thomson didn’t open his first practice until he was 31 years old and he lived to be 58. In this time he was responsible for such a diverse range of structures including villas, a castle, stylish terraces, commercial warehouses, tenements, and three extraordinary churches.

With his different types of work spanning all across Glasgow only one of the churches are left still intact. In World War II Thomson’s Queen’s Park Church was lost in the bombings. The Caledonia Road Church in the Gorbals, although still standing, was burnt out and ruined in 1965. The remaining church is the St. Vincent street church which was built in 1857.

His innovative designs of tenements and work buildings is just as impressive as the extravagant designs of his more aesthetic work such as; the picturesque Craigrownie Castle over looking Loch Long, beautiful private villas and mansions and the striking Egyptian Halls in the centre of Glasgow.

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