A SERIOUS blaze last month ravaged a number of buildings in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street. Demolition work has now begun, with hopes being expressed that the rebuilding work will help transform this part of the famous street. Something similar happened in February 1951, when a “disastrous” fire destroyed a complete corner block at the Argyle Street-Jamaica Street junction. The block housed the warehouse of Arnott-Simpson and an adjoining restaurant, the Queen Anne. Then as now, firemen fought a desperate battle to prevent the fire spreading to nearby properties. Then as now, the blaze caused traffic chaos, “after what was believed to be an unprecedented interruption of the transport system”. Then as now, demolition work began swiftly. And then as now, hopes were expressed that the rebuilding work would lead to an improved environment. “The fire,” this paper said, “may precipitate a permanent change in the appearance of the city at this busy centre, [Glasgow] Corporation having some years ago considered the re-planning of this area.” The plan, including street widening, would now be given fresh thought. Even before the war, the corporation had spent more than £200,000 on acquiring property between St Enoch Square and Jamaica Street with the aim of re-planning.