ONE of the pleasures of looking back through the colossal number of archive pictures taken by Herald and Times photographers over the decades is the chance to see how much has changed between then and now. This is particularly true of city-centre streets: though they retain their essential shape, many other things have been altered.

Back in 1954, Buchanan Street, then as now Glasgow’s pre-eminent shopping street, allowed access to traffic (pedestrianisation would not happen for another couple of decades). The street was notable for its shops and restaurants -McDpnald’s Furriers, Cranston’s Restaurant and Whitney’s can all be made out above - and for its splendid buildings. Look Up Glasgow, the 2013 book on the city’s architecture by Adrian Searle and David Barbour, singles out much of the street’s distinctive architectural heritage.

Much has changed since 1954, of course. Stores have come and gone. Princes Square opened in 1988 in what had been a four-storey merchant square built in yellow sandstone and completed in 1841; and the Royal Concert Hall, at the top end, would follow in 1990. In 2008 Buchanan Street won the Great Street Award in the Urbanism Awards.

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And just recently, Retail Week magazine observed that the street “provides a world-class retail thoroughfare.”