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Latitude: 57.1484 / 57°8'54"N
Longitude: -2.0937 / 2°5'37"W
OS Eastings: 394427
OS Northings: 806395
OS Grid: NJ944063
Mapcode National: GBR SD2.FN
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.TL59
Entry Name: 7 and 9 King Street
Listing Date: 12 January 1967
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 355186
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20387
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
James Gillespie Graham, 1836. Symmetrical 3-storey, 5-bay classical tenement building. Inner 3 bays slightly advanced and pedimented with imposing Ionic columns and pilasters dividing bays to 1st and 2nd storeys. Grey granite ashlar. Base course. Band and cill courses. Parapet. Banded rustication to ground with round arched openings to central 3 windows and flanking doorways. Semi-circular fanlights to doorways.
Plate glass timber sash and case windows.
INTERIOR: comprehensively altered to form office accommodation. (2006)
This building is a grand and impressive addition to the planned streetscape of King Street. It is dominated by its central pedimented section and is the only building in Aberdeen known to have been designed by the renowned architect Gillespie Graham. It was originally planned with shops at the ground floor and flats above However, in 1868, it became a branch of the Commercial Bank of Scotland and is now (2006) office accommodation.
Archibald Simpson, who designed no 1-5 King Street, quarrelled with Gillespie Graham over this design.
King Street developed after 1794, when a town council meeting asked the engineer Charles Abercrombie to find a way to connect the original steep, muddled Medieval streets of Aberdeen to the surrounding countryside. His plan was for two streets, one of which would run from Castlegate to the Denburn and the other which would run from the Castlegate to the North of the town. The latter was King Street. A competition for designs for this new street brought forward a design from Thomas Fletcher. This was to be a long classical façade, with a pedimented centrepiece and this design was begun on the East side in 1805. The idea of a standard, uniform terrace, however, was abandoned when negotiations had to be entered into with owners regarding the length of the frontages and the heights of the buildings. The West side, on which this building is situated was to have followed a similar, uniform design, but again, this was abandoned to a more diverse collection of frontages, all within the classical style.
James Gillespie Graham (1776-1855) was a Scottish architect whose output mainly consisted of ecclesiastical buildings and country houses. His works include St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Glasgow and Taymouth Castle. Although primarily known for his work in the Gothic style, his work at Moray Place in Edinburgh (1822) attests to the fact that he was equally at home in the Classical idiom.
Part of B Group with 5 Castle Street, Nos 1-56 (inclusive nos) King Street and St Andrews Episcopal Cathedral.
References form previous List description G.M.Fraser, Archibald Simpson and his Times.
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