The Grosvenor Story: drawing on the past to tell the tale of West End’s Hilton hotel

By Ian Marland at

It’s a landmark building at the heart of the West End.

Now the story of the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor hotel has been told to celebrate the building’s history.

West End-based artist and illustrator Libby Walker was commissioned by the hotel chain to create four panels telling The Grosvenor Story.

Beginning: The Grosvenor has been a hotel since 1938.

Beginning: The Grosvenor has been a hotel since 1938.

Her work will be unveiled at a special event at the hotel this coming Monday [February 20] at 5pm to 6pm – and the public is being invited to come along.

The panels tell the story of the building’s early history through to the present with intricate drawings highlighting important moments in the story.

Libby told Glasgow West End Today: “I was asked to capture the history of the hotel and the surrounding area.

“A first for me as my work hasn’t looked into the past before but I enjoyed the research for this work.

“It’s great to celebrate a building and everything it has meant to people through time.

“Who knew Curlers Rest is one of the oldest pubs in Glasgow and is named so because there used to be curling on the Botanics pond?”


Finnieston: Prints of The Grosvenor Story will be available from Libby’s shop in the Hidden Lane.

She added: “This challenge was a really great way to look back on our Glasgow and look how our history is our present and our future.

“I’m looking forward to presenting the artworks on Monday.”

The terrace was completed in 1858 but didn’t become a hotel until 1938 – occupying just two of the houses at the eastern end.

Under the ownership of businessman Reo Stakis the hotel expanded in the early 1970s.

But in 1978 it was destroyed in a spectacular fire during a strike by firefighters. It reopened in 1982.

It became part of the Hilton hotel chain under the name of the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel in the early 2000s.

A Hilton spokeswoman said: “Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor has a special place in history here in the West End.

“We know it holds treasured memories for many people, which is why we chose to celebrate the building’s history by commissioning this unique artwork.”

Guests will have the chance to meet artist Libby Walker and learn more about her inspiration for the project.

Monday’s event will feature a beGIN pop-up bar serving cocktails and canapés.

* Prints will be released the weekend of the 24th and available to purchase from Libby’s studio in the Hidden Lane in Finnieston.