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Little Belmont Street, Former Old Town's School

A Category A Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1471 / 57°8'49"N

Longitude: -2.101 / 2°6'3"W

OS Eastings: 393985

OS Northings: 806250

OS Grid: NJ939062

Mapcode National: GBR SC1.4H

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.PMQB

Entry Name: Little Belmont Street, Former Old Town's School

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354528

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20082

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

John Smith, 1840-41. Monumental, single storey, E-plan former school building in the late Greek Revival style. Pedimented, Greek-Doric tretrastyle central portico flanked by very advanced single bay pavilions. Grey granite ashlar with finely tooled dressings, pilastered at corners; wide band course, projecting cornice and coped blocking course above.

Squared, coursed rubble construction to remaining elevations; segmental-arch openings to W, pair of openings at eaves level to E with margined, multi-pane glazing pattern; piended, wallhead gable at 1st and 2nd bays to 2-storey, 6-bay rear elevation.

Multi-paned glazing to timber framed windows to principal (S) elevation. Grey slate; wallhead dormers to W elevation. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Later low ashlar boundary wall to S with regularly spaced pyramidal piers and railings.

INTERIOR: Altered to form open-plan bar. Some plaster work remains.

Statement of Interest

The former Old Town School, designed by celebrated architect John Smith, is an outstanding example of the then-fashionable 'Greek revival' style. Such formal Classicism was more commonly associated with Smith's foremost contemporary, Archibald Simpson and is unusual amid Smith's prolific output. The building makes successful use of its restrictive location on Little Belmont Road. Its imposing use of scale is heightened by being set back from the line of the street. It has been compared to the exemplarary Neo-Classical work of Karl Freidrich Schinkel in Berlin such as his 1816 'Neue Wache' guardhouse. There is also a strong Greek 'academy' tradition in Scottish education which dovetailed with the worldwide interest in 'pure' Greek architecture in the first half of the nineteenth century. The building has latterly been converted into a public house, with the rear of the building integrated into the Academy shopping and restaurant complex, 1998, by Percy Johnson-Marshall and Partners.

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