Glasgow Cross is the historic intersection of the High Street and the Trongate. To the west, the familiar modern city seemed to develop from around George Square and Royal Exchange Square. In between this and Glasgow Cross lies a grid-like mesh of streets known as the Merchant City which, for a time, in the full flow of the city's westward expansion, became a forgotten enclave of warehouses and ropey businesses. It was rediscovered firstly by the cafe bar Gandalfis and Babity Bowster, a surprise escape for students and staff from up the hill at the University of Strathclyde and downhill in the council offices; secondly by pioneering city developers, civic leaders and city dwellers who found the streets to their liking and, finally, by a general population now enjoying the qualities of Merchant City life, day and night, the fashion shops and cultural stops, the bars, coffee houses and the late night grocers.
To the north, the grid is not unlimited and is terminated in places by reused buildings - the Ramshorn Church (now a theatre); Hutchesons Hospital (now the National Trust for Scotland centre); the Royal exchange (now the Gallery of Modern Art); the Trades House, still for the trades and in others by the more ubiquitous everyday stock of elaborated stone facades. These older buildings are lifted, inspired and stimulated by the contemporary from the 1920s warehouses of Wilson Street to the formerly-called 1930s Daily Express on Albion Street, from the post modern mix of shops and residences of Ingram Square and the Italian Centre to the new modern living of the Todd Building, Merchant City Towers and bohemian life around the rejuvenated Tron Theatre.
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