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Head Post Office, Crown Street, Aberdeen

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Latitude: 57.144 / 57°8'38"N

Longitude: -2.1032 / 2°6'11"W

OS Eastings: 393854

OS Northings: 805909

OS Grid: NJ938059

Mapcode National: GBR SBQ.V7

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.NPPP

Plus Code: 9C9V4VVW+JP

Entry Name: Head Post Office, Crown Street, Aberdeen

Listing Name: 24-28 (Even Nos) Crown Street and 21-29 (Odd Nos) Dee Street, Former Head Post Office

Listing Date: 26 May 1977

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354428

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19987

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Torry/Ferryhill

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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William Thomas Oldrieve, assisted by James Cumming Wynnes, 1904-1907; Maclachlan Monaghan Architects, circa 1999 conversion to flats and additions. 3-storey and attic Scots Baronial former Head Post Office; asymmetrical elevations to Crown Street and Dee Street linked by circa 1999 4-storey, 8-bay wing. Granite ashlar; harled to rear. Base course, cill course at ground floor, corbelled eaves course; crenellated parapet with corbelled bartisans. Crowstepped gables. Predominantly mullioned and transomed openings with roll-moulded and chamfered arrises and raked cills. Some small openings set within bracketed, columned and carved pedimented aedicule.

E (CROWN STREET) ELEVATION: asymmetrical, roughly 8-bay, stepped elevation to line of street. 3-bay centre with crowstepped gabled entrance bay; advanced entrance porch with iron gates and decorative cast-iron arch infill to entrance vestibule set within round-arched opening, flanked by banded and engaged Doric columns, all under open segmental pediment with carved coat of arms. 4-light canted oriel window at 3rd floor. Bracketed and balustraded balconies to tripartite window, flanking entrance bay, at 1st floor with elaborately carved pediment. Bay to left of centre with bipartite windows at ground and 1st floor set within continuous round-arched architrave and carved infill panel to arch; entrance to return with shouldered architrave and round-arched pediment with date plaque. Round tower to far left; attic storey with pedimented windows set within parapet. Bay to right of centre consisting of round tower giving way to corbelled 3rd floor with crowstepped gable. Bay to outer right; carved pediment to window at 2nd floor.

N ELEVATION: return of E (Crown Street) elevation. 4-light canted bay at ground, with recessed entrance and carved semi-circular infill panel incorporating clock; all under bracketed and balustraded balcony. Tripartite windows at 1st and 2nd floors set within continuous round-arched architrave, and carved infill panels between 1st and 2nd floor windows and to arch. Tall corbelled bartizan to right with conical roof.

W (DEE STREET) ELEVATION: 9-bay centre flanked by advanced irregular end bays. Regular fenestration to centre bays; advanced doorpiece at centre with balustrated and bartizaned parapet, 2-leaf panelled timber doors deeply set within lugged architrave, incorporating decorative surround to geometric, coloured glass fanlight above; pedimented 2-light oriel window at 3rd floor, corbelled out to base. Entrances to outer bays with bipartite fanlight, all set within continuous roll-moulded and corniced architrave. Advanced sections with bracketed and balustraded balcony at 1st floor; tripartite windows at 1st and 2nd floors set within continuous round-arched architrave and carved infill panels between 1st and 2nd floors and to arch. Crowstepped gablet at attic to left. Pend to right with 2-leaf cast-iron gates.

S ELEVATION: regular fenestration. 3-bay gable at centre with corbelled base at 1st floor and wallhead stack. Round tower to right. Circa 1999 shorter linking section to left.

Predominantly multi-pane timber sash and case windows; coloured glass to fanlights to W (Dee Street) elevation. Pitched roof, grey slates. Corniced ridge and end stacks with circular clay cans. Stone steps to recessed entrance of N elevation flanked by shallow walls and circular piers, topped with cast-iron railings and small lamp standard to piers.

Statement of Interest

B Group consisting of 23, 25 Crown Street, Prudential Building; 27, 29 Crown Street, Britannic House; 57-83 (Odd Nos) Crown Street; 85 Crown Street, Masonic Temple; 89-105 (Odd Nos) Crown Street; 111-119 Crown Street and 9 St Mary's Place; 82 Crown Street; 84, 86, 86 And A Half Crown Street; and 100-122 (Even Nos) Crown Street and 2, 4 Dee Place (see separate list entries).

A well-detailed and rare example of a Head Post Office Building in the Scots Baronial style with touches of Jacobean and Wrenaissance detailing. The principal elevations retain much of their high quality granite detailing including carved pediments and infill panels. The scale and detailing of the building is appropriate for its important former commercial and civic function and is one of Aberdeen's most significant public buildings of this period.

The building, which cost over £55,000, was opened in 1907 by Mr Sydney Buxton, the Postmaster General. This Head Post Office Building replaced the former office at 47-53 Market Street which opened in 1875 (see separate listing). Prior to this, Aberdeen's post offices had occupied various sites around the city, including the Market Cross and 5 Market Street, but the rise in Aberdeen's commercial activity during the 19th century increased the demand for larger and better post office services.

Crown Street was laid out in the 1820s as a residential area close to the commercial centre of Aberdeen. The street is characterised by sections of mainly 2-storey and attic terraced houses. From the 1890s properties at the north end began to be demolished to accommodate commercial buildings, such as the General Post Office.

The post office was converted into flats circa 1999-2001 by Maclachlan Monaghan Architects for Stewart Milne Homes. This conversion also included the demolition of the original linking section and the 1964 addition to the N, for the construction of new blocks of flats and a car park.

William Thomas Oldrieve was appointed Principal Architect for Scotland in HM Office of Works in April 1904, succeeding Walter Wood Robertson. Oldrieve had worked as assistant architect and surveyor in the Office of Works, from 1881, in which he spent some time in the Edinburgh office under Robertson. From 1898 Oldrieve was architect for all provincial post offices in England and Wales, a position secured following a study of post office buildings in Europe. Prior to this appointment he had variously worked in the Chief Architect's Office, London Office of Works; in charge of Manchester District Office of Works and Chief Assistant to the Principal Architect to the Department of Works in England. Oldrieve's works in Scotland include post offices in Stornoway, Kilmarnock and Montrose as well as the extension and remodelling of Head Post Offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow (see separate listings).

Statutory address revised 2012. Formerly listed as "Head Post Office, Crown Street and Dee Street".

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