The medieval Glasgow Cross was located on the road between High Street and Saltgait. Its modern replacement was built to the south-east of the original location to aid traffic. The town's tron was placed on the steeple of the town house in the 1550s. The Tron Steeple, as it became known, still stands in Glasgow Cross, one of the few remaining pre-Victorian buildings in Glasgow.
The area now known as 'Merchant City' was developed from the 1750s onwards. Residences and warehouses of the wealthy merchant "tobacco lords" (who prospered in shipping and, amongst other things, tobacco, sugar and tea) were built in the area. The district west of the High Street formed the historic backbone of the city, the development of what is now known as with wide, straight streets, vistas, and squares, marked the beginning of a process of aspirational residential movement westwards that would continue throughout the 19th century and into the 20th with the development of Blythswood Hill, Hillhead and the West End of Glasgow.