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Latitude: 55.6117 / 55°36'41"N
Longitude: -4.4971 / 4°29'49"W
OS Eastings: 242813
OS Northings: 638169
OS Grid: NS428381
Mapcode National: GBR 3G.MJRP
Mapcode Global: WH3Q9.W6PV
Entry Name: 78 and 80 Portland Street and 1 West George Street
Listing Date: 3 July 1980
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 380645
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB35956
Building Class: Cultural
County: East Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse
Traditional County: Ayrshire
Mid 19th century. 3-storey, classical former hotel building on corner site; 7-bays to Portland Street, curved angle bay at SE and 4-bays to West George Street. Giant Ionic pilasters supporting panelled parapet and pediment. Modern shop to ground floor; piano nobile above. Polished yellow sandstone ashlar to principal elevations, coursed rubble to N side.
E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to 5 central bays of ground floor, modern shop front with door to 2nd right bay, fascia with MASON MURPHY HOUSE FURNISHERS; bay to left flank, modern shop front with window and door; to right flanking bay, shop double window. To 1st and 2nd floors, 5 central bays flanked by giant Ionic pilasters, windows to 1st floor taller than those at 2nd floor; matching windows to plain outer flanking bays at both floors Pilasters supporting cornice and panelled parapet, raised to miniature pediment over central bay, with terminal and apex fan-headed caps.
SE ELEVATION: slightly recessed arched bay. Paired semi-canted shop windows to ground floor within modern shop front; cornice above; tall single window to 1st floor; smaller window to 2nd floor. Low parapet; round Roman numeral clock surmounting, within raised triangular pediment with pilastered and scrolled bracket sides.
S ELEVATION: modern shop front to ground floor with large window to left, narrower window and door to right, fascia above with MASON MURPHY in large plastic letters. To 1st floor, 4 regularly placed tall windows, bay to right now blind. To 2nd floor, 4 matching smaller bays with outer bays now blind. Cornice and low parapet surmounting.
W (REAR) ELEVATION: adjoining much higher side elevation of Expo on West George Street.
N ELEVATION: blind end with the exception of small window off centre right at 1st floor; adjoining adjacent single storey gable-ended building at ground floor.
Large plate glass windows to shop front; 3 modern timber doors with glazed panels irregularly placed to ground floor. Essentially 2-pane sash and case windows to 1st floor, glazed with smaller panes of opaque squared quarry to lower sash, similar glazing to upper sash with inset pattern and coloured glass. To 2nd floor, 2-pane sash and case windows with plain glass, smaller sliding upper sash. Piended grey slate roof; aluminium ridging, flashing and valleys. Cast-iron rainwater goods concealed behind parapet, downpipes to angle of arched bay and N elevation. No stacks seen, although central fan-headed cap to principal elevation formerly a stack with single tall can, now unused.
INTERIOR: ground and 1st floor now both semi open-plan, modern shop floors. Upper level not seen, 2001.
This is one of the few remaining historic buildings in Portland Street after a comprehensive redevelopment of the town centre took place. The building, now know as Mason & Murphy's house furnishers, was originally the "George Hotel". It was built in the mid 19th century and was regarded as Kilmarnock's "5-star" hotel. Standing on the corner of West George Street and Portland Street, the hotel was within easy reach of both the town centre and the newly constructed railway. Many visiting dignitaries were accommodated here, as were the town's important public functions. The town council held a special dinner here to confer the Freedom of Kilmarnock to Andrew Fisher, Prime Minister of Australia, who was born in Crosshouse. In 1922 the hotel ceased to be. Part of the building was altered to house the retail premises of Alex Lind & Co. At one stage, the town council bought the property to demolish it, but it was restored and is now back in use as the retail premises of Mason Murphy, house furnishers.
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