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39-45 (Odd Nos) Union Street (Known As 41 1/2, Crown Court)

A Category C Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1471 / 57°8'49"N

Longitude: -2.0958 / 2°5'44"W

OS Eastings: 394300

OS Northings: 806250

OS Grid: NJ943062

Mapcode National: GBR SCS.3R

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.SM59

Entry Name: 39-45 (Odd Nos) Union Street (Known As 41 1/2, Crown Court)

Listing Date: 1 October 1998

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 392626

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45666

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

R.G.Wilson, 1903. 5-storey and attic, distinctive and decorative 5-bay Edwardian Baroque office building with shops (altered) to ground. Grey granite ashlar to street elevation (N), coursed granite to rear. Central entrance door with deep consoled segmental canopy. Canted tripartite windows to centre and outside bays rising from 1st storey. Banded rustication to 1st floor with Gibbsian surrounds to windows. Cill courses. Deep mutuled cornice to 4th storey. Partially balustraded parapet. Large semicircular pedimented wallhead dormers with decorative panels.

Predominantly timber plate glass sash and case windows. Grey slate. Broad gable and ridge stacks.

INTERIOR: Not comprehensively seen (2006). Previous fire damage (see Notes) suggests alteration.

Statement of Interest

Crown Court is a distinctive and unusual building within the Union Street streetscape both in its Edwardian Baroque style and its height. It is flanked by smaller 4-storey simple classical tenements with shops to ground. Conspicuous amongst the surrounding restrained classical buildings the quality of its decorative detailing enables Crown Court to contribute positively towards the streetscape. The building suffered internal fire damage in 1998 and was subsequently modernised.

R.G.Wilson (1844-1931) was an architect based primarily in Aberdeen. He was in partnership with Alexander Ellis from 1869-96. Wilson's output consisted in the main, of schools, churches and private dwellings in and around Aberdeen.

Union Street was developed after 1794, when a town council meeting asked the engineer Charles Abercrombie to find a way to connect the original steep, muddled Medieval streets of Aberdeen to the surrounding countryside. His plan was for two streets, one of which would run from Castlegate to the Denburn and the other which would run from the Castlegate to the North of the town. The former became Union Street. This was a particularly difficult project to complete as the street had to cut through St Katherine's Hill at the East end and be built on a series of arches culminating with a large bridge at the Denburn. The street was to be lined with classical buildings, but the initial idea of having a long, uniform classical design that each new house would have to conform to was abandoned, as it was realised that different purchasers would require some control over the design Some variety was therefore conceded to. This variety had, however, to conform to the 'uniformity and regularity of the street' and that between each crossroads, the houses had to be the same height, the same number of storeys (4) and have the same pitch of roof.

This building stands on the site of a previous building which was demolished to make way for this one in 1901.

Some fire damage in 1998.

Part of B Group with Nos 5-53, 67-89, 95-139, 143-153 (odd nos) Union Street, Nos 26-42, 46-62, 78-106, 114-144 (even nos) Union Street and St Nicholas Churchyard.

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