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Latitude: 57.1426 / 57°8'33"N
Longitude: -2.1422 / 2°8'32"W
OS Eastings: 391490
OS Northings: 805750
OS Grid: NJ914057
Mapcode National: GBR S56.83
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.2Q5S
Entry Name: 54 Rubislaw Den South, Including Ancillary Structure, Gatepiers and Boundary Walls
Listing Date: 17 June 1992
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 355995
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20814
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Hazlehead/Queens Cross/Countesswells
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Arthur Clyne, 1900; later additions and alterations. 2-storey and attic, 3-bay villa. Rough-faced coursed grey granite, with finely finished light grey dressings. Base course; architraved openings; panelled aprons to ground floor; 1st floor cill course; overhanging eaves with timber bargeboards.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; regular fenestration to ground and 1st floors of bays to centre and right, tripartite rectangular dormer to attic floor; gabled bay advanced to left, 4-light canted window to ground floor with parapet forming balcony to 1st floor, tripartite window to 1st floor, 5-light canted oriel window with pilastered mullions set in gablehead, advanced gablehead, terracotta finial to apex.
E ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 3-bay; 2 gabled bays to left, doorway to right at ground floor, deep entablature supported by deep pilastered brackets and surmounted by stylised scrolls, panelled timber door with fanlight, window to 1st floor above; regular fenestration to bay to left; 4-light canted window to ground floor of bay to right, bipartite window to 1st floor above.
N ELEVATION: wing advanced to centre, modern double conservatory to left return, remainder not seen 2000.
W ELEVATION: asymmetrical; gabled bay to right, windows to left at ground floor, stair window above; irregular fenestration to bays outer left.
Predominantly replacement timber sash and case windows; PVCu windows to rear. Purple grey slate roof with terracotta ridges. Corniced gablehead stacks and stacks breaking pitch with circular cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: not seen 2000.
ANCILLARY STRUCTURE, GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: rectangular-plan granite garage to NE, with broad boarded and glazed timber door, pyramidal slate roof. Square-plan tooled ashlar gatepiers with shallow pyramidal caps to S, low coped wall between surmounted by modern railings; granite and brick coped rubble walls to remainder.
From the beginning of the 19th century Aberdeen rapidly expanded westwards from Union Street. 54 Rubislaw Den South, which was built for W J Riddell, is part of the late 19th/early 20th century development W of Queen's Cross. Rubislaw Den South runs almost parallel to Queen's Road (on the site of Skene Road) which was originally surrounded by the estate of Rubislaw. In 1877 Rubislaw Estate was bought by the City of Aberdeen Land Association, who re-aligned Skene Road and sold off the estate in smaller plots. Streets became wider and villas with substantial gardens often replaced terraces. Prestigious architects, such as Arthur Clyne, were often employed to produce bold and unusual designs to reflect the wealth and individuality of the clients. 54 Rubislaw Den South is less elaborate than many of the domestic commissions Clyne carried out whilst his partner J B Pirie was alive, however this more restrained design is typical of his later works. The interior was not seen, however other examples of Clyne's domestic commissions suggest that this may be more elaborate than the exterior. The plans show a doorway almost identical to that on the E elevation originally positioned to the right of the S elevation (that to the E being of simple design), which was presumably moved before building began. The doorway to the E is almost identical to that at 151-153 King Street (see separate listing), the stylised mouldings again being typical of Clyne. The attic oriel window to the S is also one of Clyne's favourite motifs.
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