Buchanan Street, arguably the most potent symbol of modern Glasgow’s image as a cosmopolitan city, is named after the Tobacco Lord, Andrew Buchanan (1725-1783). The Buchanans had considerable wealth and social status in 18th century Glasgow, and Andrew was a leading partner in both‘Buchanan, Hastie and Co.’ and ‘Andrew Buchanan and Co.’ for a time two of the most powerful Virginia trading firms, although they folded in 1777 due to financial difficulties.
Andrew Buchanan purchased the land now known as Buchanan Street in 1760, and lived there for a number of years. He later sold some of the land around his property. The first tenement in the area was built in 1774. The common entrance to a subsequent tenemental development formed part of the modern entry to Buchanan Street at Argyle Street. It is ironic that a street originally sold off in small value plots due to its distance westward from the business centre of town (originally at Trongate) is now arguably the wealthiest street in Glasgow.