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Latitude: 57.1486 / 57°8'54"N
Longitude: -2.0932 / 2°5'35"W
OS Eastings: 394460
OS Northings: 806415
OS Grid: NJ944064
Mapcode National: GBR SD4.LC
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.TLF5
Entry Name: 12 and 14 King Street
Listing Date: 12 January 1967
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 355204
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20395
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Possibly John Smith (see Notes), 1810. 3-storey and attic 3-bay Classical tenement with altered shops to ground. Grey granite ashlar. Cill courses, eaves cornice. Pair of piended dormers.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys. Plate glass to non-traditional shop fronts. Coped ridge stacks.
This tenement building with its restrained, classical style forms an essential component of the planned streetscape of King Street. An early print of 1840 suggests that the ground floor was originally arcaded. The bold town planning which created Union Street and King Street was the defining gesture which allowed Aberdeen to develop from an contained medieval burgh to a rational modern city. This importance is recognised in the B Group designation for this first section of King Street.
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 higher end blocks. This design was begun on the East side in 1805, with the creation of nos 8-10 (see separate listing). This building, nos 12-14, was built as part of this conceived design in 1810, probably by the recently appointed City Architect John Smith. 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. It was then decided to allow some variations between designs, whilst keeping to the essential classical style.
John Smith (1781-1852), a native of Aberdeen, established himself in architectural practice in the city in 1804. He became the Master of Work in 1824 and designed many of Aberdeen's public buildings, showing an expertise in working with granite. With Archibald Simpson, (1790-1847), he was one of the major architects involved in designing the expanding nineteenth century city of Aberdeen. His other works include the Aberdeen Arts Centre and St Clement's East Church (see separate listings).
Part of B Group with 5 Castle Street, Nos 1-56 (inclusive nos) King Street and St Andrews Episcopal Cathedral.
Category changed from B to C(S), 2007.
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