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R W Forsyth, 26-30 Princes Street, Edinburgh

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.953 / 55°57'10"N

Longitude: -3.1919 / 3°11'30"W

OS Eastings: 325669

OS Northings: 673974

OS Grid: NT256739

Mapcode National: GBR 8NF.YH

Mapcode Global: WH6SL.YM6P

Plus Code: 9C7RXR35+66

Entry Name: R W Forsyth, 26-30 Princes Street, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 30 Princes Street and South St Andrew's Street, Formerly Forsyth's

Listing Date: 14 September 1966

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 369516

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB29503

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

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J J Burnet, 1906-7; W bay Burnet, Son & Dick, 1923-5. 6-storey with corner tower Free-style Renaissance steel-framed former department store. Polished cream sandstone ashlar. Shop windows at ground and marble Ionic columns at 1st floor, framed by flat proscenium arch. Channelled rustication at 2nd floor with consoled band above. Giant Ionic columns to 3rd and 4th floors with windows running through both floors between. Projecting cornice with balustraded parapet to eaves gallery at 5th floor with term figures by W Birnie Rhind and W Reid Dick.

Corner tower with Mannerist aedicules at 2nd floor, simpler aedicules at 5th floor, and balustraded parapet with urns; octagonal cupola with pyramidal roof surmounted by gilded openwork sphere by Gilbert Bayes.

5 bays to Princes Street, that to W echoing corner tower. 3 bays to South St Andrews Street.

Rear elevation of white glazed brick, with flying link to 3 St Andrews Square (see separate listing); sandstone ashlar, dated 1925, with broken pedimented aedicule.

Timber multi-pane casement windows.

INTERIOR: surprisingly intact despite conversion to modern retail premises. Alabaster Ionic columns at ground as backdrop to magnificent scale and platt stair (now with lift in well). Panelled square Forsyth?s columns and trabeated ceilings throughout interior; many light fittings and details, especially to cafe at 5th floor.

Statement of Interest

Built as R W Forsyth's flagship store. It was the first fully steel-framed building in Scotland, and showed a very early use of glazed brick. The steelwork was supplied by Redpath Brown, and erected by Ferguson & Co of Glasgow. Nos 31 and 32 Princes Street were built by George Washington Browne in 1891 for Messrs Redfern, and Burnet apparently greatly regretted having to demolish this building. Forsyth's closed in the 1970s, and the building was sold to the Burton Group.

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