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Latitude: 57.1472 / 57°8'50"N
Longitude: -2.0971 / 2°5'49"W
OS Eastings: 394222
OS Northings: 806266
OS Grid: NJ942062
Mapcode National: GBR SCL.CN
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.RMK6
Entry Name: 52-58 (Even Nos) Union Street
Listing Date: 12 January 1967
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 355489
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20551
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Before 1828. 4-storey and attic, 5-bay classical tenement building with altered shops to ground. Grey granite ashlar. Eaves band to nos 56-58 , shallow cornice to nos 52, 54. Piended dormers.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys. Plate glass to shops. Grey slates, gable stacks.
This row of tenement buildings is situated in the North side of Union Street and forms an essential component of the planned streetscape of the street. It is a good early example of a row of classical tenements. It was constructed between 1794 when Union Street was planned and 1828 when it appears on John Wood's plan of Aberdeen. 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.
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: Directories 1824.
Category changed from B to C(S), 2007.
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