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131 and a Half-139 (Odd Nos) Union Street

A Category C Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.146 / 57°8'45"N

Longitude: -2.1 / 2°6'0"W

OS Eastings: 394044

OS Northings: 806125

OS Grid: NJ940061

Mapcode National: GBR SC5.GG

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.QN55

Entry Name: 131 and a Half-139 (Odd Nos) Union Street

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355439

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20526

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Early 19th century. 3-storey, basement and attic, 4-bay Classical tenement with E elevation adjacent to Back Wynd Steps. Altered shops to ground and distinctive central panelled and coped wallhead stack. Grey granite ashlar. Band course to E. Eaves cornice. Blocking course. Some round-arched window openings to E. Pair of piended bipartite dormers.

Variety of glazing including, plate glass and 12 and 4-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys, plate glass to shops. Some blind openings to E.

Statement of Interest

With its distinguishing central wallhead stack, this building is an early example of a Classical tenement and forms an essential component of the planned streetscape of Union Street. The simple Classical style is typical of granite buildings of this period before sophisticated cutting techniques were developed. 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. Built in a similar style to the work of Archibald Simpson, current knowledge (2006) cannot definitively attribute this building to him.

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.

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: Directories.

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

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