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Elmbank Avenue, Dick Institute

A Category B Listed Building in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.6084 / 55°36'30"N

Longitude: -4.4896 / 4°29'22"W

OS Eastings: 243271

OS Northings: 637787

OS Grid: NS432377

Mapcode National: GBR 3H.MLH0

Mapcode Global: WH3QB.09CD

Entry Name: Elmbank Avenue, Dick Institute

Listing Date: 9 March 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 380577

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB35892

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmarnock

County: East Ayrshire

Town: Kilmarnock

Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock East and Hurlford

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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R S Ingram; 1878-1901; damaged by fire 1909; rebuilt 1910 to designs by Ingram & Brown; reopened 1911. Classical library and museum. Shallow U-plan with portico; 2-storey; 15-bay. Ashlar, channelled to ground. Base course; band course at 1st floor; eaves course; balustraded parapet to roof.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central portico: 4 fluted columns with Tivoli order capitals; 2 fluted pilasters at rear; plain entablature; triangular pediment with Kilmarnock Burgh Arms carved on tympanum; sphinxes adorn the lower apexes of the pediment; whole composition crowned with figure of Minerva, goddess of Wisdom. Regular fenestration at ground floor; windows at 1st floor separated by Corinthian pilasters.

NE ELEVATION: 10-bay elevation; same fenestration as principal elevation; door at 4th bay from right.

SE (REAR) ELEVATION: rubble elevation; irregular massing.

SW ELEVATION: 10-bay elevation; doors at 1st and 3rd bays from right.

2-pane sash and case windows at ground floor; 3-pane windows at 1st floor. Slate, piended roof with dome over entrance hall and skylights to rear.

INTERIOR: square stairwell with tiled entrance floor; timber panelled corridor leading to libraries to left and right; art galleries behind; museum space at 1st floor.

Statement of Interest

Part of a B-Group with 10, 12 and 14 London Road.The Dick Institute was built during a period of civic pride at the turn of the 20th century. It was built to house both a library and a museum. Tragically, a fire ravaged the building in 1909, destroying much of the collection. The museum was rebuilt in 1911 and in 1917 it was used as an auxiliary hospital. Three rooms and two galleries were used as wards and the art gallery was utilised as a games room. Following the end of the First World War, it resumed its intended function. The site of the Dick Institute was once the location of Elmbank House, a large villa built in 1792; it is after this house that the street is named. In the late 19th century, the house was temporarily used as the residence of the Sheriff Hall and then, following the erection of a new Sheriff Hall in the centre of town, the Town Council decided to house a bequest of books in the villa (on the 2nd Edition OS Map Elmbank House is shown as a Free Library and Museum). James Dick gifted the funds, and some of the collection in memory of his brother. Dick was the son of a Kilmarnock merchant and along with his brother had established a very lucrative rubber business that manufactured longer-lasting boots. The architect, R S Ingram, was the eldest son of James Ingram, a very popular and successful Kilmarnock architect. Robert Ingram was born in 1841. He received his training with his father before eventually succeeding to the family practice in 1879. Other works by Robert Ingram in the area include the Kilmarnock Academy and Loanhead Street School. He was a very prolific architect in Kilmarnock in the late 19th and early 20th century.

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