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87 and 87a West Bow

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9484 / 55°56'54"N

Longitude: -3.1947 / 3°11'40"W

OS Eastings: 325489

OS Northings: 673463

OS Grid: NT254734

Mapcode National: GBR 8NH.D4

Mapcode Global: WH6SL.WRX7

Entry Name: 87 and 87a West Bow

Listing Date: 21 April 1969

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 370558

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB29902

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

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George Smith, 1850. 4-storey and attic to left, 3 storeys to right 3-bay tenement block with shop to ground floor, stepped with slope of street. Cream coursed ashlar. Door to flats to left; dentilled cornice to shopfront to right; 2-leaf glazed door flanked by windows in timber surrounds. 4 single windows to stair and small window in crowstepped gabled dormerhead to left; paired windows to right. Eaves cornice to 2 right bays and railings to Victoria Terrace (see Notes).

12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates to roof. Corniced ridge stack with circular cans.

Statement of Interest

The ashlar elevation and the regularly fenestrated 2 right bays, which support the pavement, railings and end wall of Victoria Terrace (separately listed) provide a visual link to the new (in 1840) Victoria Street, while the irregular fenestration and crowstepped gable of the left bay links the building with the older building of West Bow. Victoria Street and Terrace were part of Thomas Hamilton's plan for the new Southern and Western Approaches to the city. The plan was first proposed in an article in the Scots Magazine in 1817 (attributed to Hamilton) proposing the formation of 'a Communication between the N and S sides of the City of Edinburgh by means of a bridge entering the Lawnmarket nearly opposite Bank Street.' Hamilton and William Burn produced a 'Report relative to the proposed approaches' in 1824, of which a plan appeared in 'The Scotsman' (27th November 1824). Hamilton and Burn went to London in 1825 to gain support for an Act of Parliament, and the City Improvement Act was passed in 1827. Hamilton was appointed architect to the Commissioners for the Improvement Act, and carried out the 2 major town planning initiatives for which they were responsible - the W approach - King's Bridge and Johnstone Terrace, and the S approach - George IV Bridge, and the link to the Grassmarket - Victoria Street. Hamilton was replaced as architect to the Commissioners in 1834 by George Smith, and the buildings on the N side of Victoria Street were designed by Smith.

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