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Latitude: 57.1463 / 57°8'46"N
Longitude: -2.1006 / 2°6'2"W
OS Eastings: 394013
OS Northings: 806158
OS Grid: NJ940061
Mapcode National: GBR SC3.9K
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.PMYY
Entry Name: 122 and a Half to 132 (Even Nos) Union Street
Listing Date: 12 January 1967
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 355501
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20556
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Archibald Simpson, 1830. 4-storey and attic 6 by 3-bay classical tenement with altered shops to ground situated on prominent corner site. Grey granite ashlar with some banded piers to ground. Round-arched openings to ground left on Union Street (S elevation). Band course, cill course to 3rd storey, cornice. Some piended dormers.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys, Plate glass to shop fronts. Large tall coped gable stacks.
This tenement block is situated on a prominent corner site on the North side of Union Street, one of the most important streets in Aberdeen. It was designed by local architect Archibald Simpson who was responsible for many of the Aberdeen's finest Classical buildings. Forming an essential part of the planned street this block was rebuilt after a fire in 1826. The buildings are of a simple classical style which is typical of granite buildings of this period before sophisticated cutting techniques were developed. Some of the round-arched openings have been retained at ground level.
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.
Reference from previous list description: G M Fraser, Simpson and his Times. Built for Clerihew; for fire see Aberdeen Journal Feb15th 1826.
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.
Category changed from B to C(S), 2007.
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