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23-31 (Odd Nos) Union Street

A Category C Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1473 / 57°8'50"N

Longitude: -2.0953 / 2°5'43"W

OS Eastings: 394330

OS Northings: 806271

OS Grid: NJ943062

Mapcode National: GBR SCV.8G

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.SMF5

Entry Name: 23-31 (Odd Nos) Union Street

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355426

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20515

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Before 1828. 4-storey and attic 7-bay classical tenement building with altered shops to ground. Situated on corner site. Grey granite ashlar. Bowed corner with blocking course. Piended dormers with dentilled eaves.

Predominantly plate glass and 4-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys. Grey slates. Gable stacks.

INTERIOR: partly seen (2006). Believed to be substantially altered.

Statement of Interest

Situated towards the East end of Union Street, this is an early example of a row of classical tenements, all of a similar height and with the same number of storeys and with a distinctive curved corner bay and dentilled dormer eaves. The simple classical style is typical of granite buildings of this period before sophisticated cutting techniques were developed. The row forms an essential component of the planned streetscape of Union Street. Planned as the major thoroughfare in an increasingly wealthy and confident city, Union Street was a bold and confident project which required major engineering to complete. The buildings which aligned the street had to reflect this sense of grandeur and confidence as the visual appearance of the street was of the utmost importance.

Union Street was developed after 1794, when a town council meeting asked the engineer Charles Abercrombie to find a way to connect the original steep, haphazard network of 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 former became Union Street. This was a particularly difficult project to complete as the street had to cut through St Katherine's Hill at the East end and be built on a series of arches culminating with a large bridge at the Denburn. The street was to be lined with classical buildings, but the initial idea of having a long, uniform classical design that each new house would have to conform to was abandoned, as it was realised that different purchasers would require some control over the design Some variety was therefore conceded. This variety had, however, to conform to the 'uniformity and regularity of the street' and that between each crossroads, the houses had to be the same height, the same number of storeys (4) and have the same pitch of roof.

Part of B Group with Nos 5-53, 67-89, 95-139, 143-153 (odd nos) Union Street, Nos 26-42, 46-62, 78-106, 114-144 (even nos) Union Street and St Nicholas Churchyard.

Reference from previous list description: Aberdeen Directory 1824.

Category changed from B to C(S), 2007.

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