The only other former dock building that survived to be included in the Festival was the South Rotunda of the former Glasgow Harbour tunnel. During the Festival the refurbished building was utilised as a cafe / bar (run by the well known Nardini family of Largs) with this large statue of Eros (a replica of the one at Piccadilly Circus in London) as its centrepiece.
Opened in 1895 by the Glasgow Harbour Tunnel Company it passed under the Clyde from Tunnel Street, Finnieston on the north bank to Mavisbank Quay at Plantation Place on the south side of the river. It consisted of a passenger tunnel and two vehicle tunnels accessed by hydraulic hoists housed within the north and south Rotunda buildings. Horses and carts descended on the hoists for the journey under the Clyde. In 1926, the tunnels and their red brick rotundas were taken over by Glasgow Corporation. A water main with a diameter of 914.4mm was installed in the pedestrian tunnel in 1938.
A picture of the tunnel in its heyday with horse drawn vehicles can be seen at the excellent VirtualMitchell website (compiled by the Mitchell Library, Glasgow) - follow this link:
The pedestrian tunnel was closed by the 1930s but pedestrians continued to use the vehicle tunnels. It is commonly stated that the vehicle tunnels were closed in 1943 some people dispute that fact and recall seeing vehicles using the tunnels in the 1950s. It seems that the pedestrian tunnel was reopened in the 1940s and it continued in use until 1980. The vehicle tunnels were sealed in 1986.
A lone walk through the Harbour Tunnel was not for the faint hearted, a 3ft water main ran along one side with various indeterminate noises nearby and the sparse illumination by bare light bulbs did little to reassure. A picture of the tunnel taken by a member of the Partick Camera Club in 1955 can be studied at the following link:
Although earmarked for closure, the tunnel, like the Clyde ferries, was reprieved during the modernisation of the Subway in the late 70s but finally closed in 1980.
Due to the presence of the water main the pedestrian tunnel was not sealed. This tunnel is now owned by Scottish Water, known as the Finnieston Tunnel and operates solely to access the water main.