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Latitude: 55.946 / 55°56'45"N
Longitude: -3.1908 / 3°11'26"W
OS Eastings: 325727
OS Northings: 673189
OS Grid: NT257731
Mapcode National: GBR 8PJ.50
Mapcode Global: WH6SL.YTR3
Entry Name: 4-8 (Even Nos) Forrest Road
Listing Date: 15 October 2001
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395639
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48240
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
John C Hay,dated 1872. Asymmetrical, 4-storey, 4-bay Scots Baronial corner tenement block with shops to ground floor; bowed window and finialled fish-scale-slated circular turret to NW corner, and breaking eaves dormers.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: irregular gabled 3-bay side elevation. Squared and snecked rock-faced sandstone with polished dressings. Moulded cill course to 1st floor; corbel table to 3rd floor. Long and short quoins; crowstepped gables. Windows in tabbed, stop-chamfered surrounds. Original segmental-arched openings to shop at ground floor to outer right; piended 3-storey canted window above; brattishing to either side. Segmental-arched windows to 1st floor. Single windows in 2nd bay from right, dated shield plaque to dormer gable. Projecting 2-bay section to left: timber panelled door with segmental-arched fanlight in roll-moulded surround to right; small gabled canted window with quatrefoil-pierced balconette to 4th floor above; bipartite windows to centre, single windows to left.
4-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows, 2-pane pattern with curved glass to corner windows. Double pitch grey slate roof. Rebuilt corniced apex stacks with circular cans to N; polygonal-ended corniced ridge stack with circular cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
This tenement block, on prominent corner site, is a good example of the Scots Baronial urban style making a strong contribution to the streetscape. Dean of Guild drawings show that John Hay designed the Oddfellows Hall, in the centre of the E side of Forrest Road, and the tenements to either side and thus creating a good grouping of late 19th century buildings.
John C Hay (c1840-1925) began practising in Edinburgh working from 3 Hanover Street in 1867, after which he moved offices many times. The body of his work is in Edinburgh with some churches but mostly tenements the majority of which are in Marchmont and the South Side of Edinburgh. He was President of the Edinburgh Architectural Society at some point in his career.
The planned street triangle of Forrest Road, Bristo Place and Teviot Row was conceived as part of Thomas Hamilton's (1784-1858) vision for the new Southern Approach Road linking Princes Street to George Square and the Meadows (via the Mound, Bank Street and a the new George IV Bridge). The City Improvement Act brought in by Lord Provost Chambers in 1867 was to implement better housing standards and to replace the medieval slum areas in Edinburgh's Old Town. The groups of Baronial style tenement blocks on Forest Road and Teviot Place were built as a direct result of this development phase.
The buildings were constructed as part of the Forrest Road, Teviot Place and Bristo Place development concurrent with the building of the New Medical School and the McEwan Hall in the later 19th century. The former Royal Infirmary was built around the same time as the redevelopment of Teviot Place so some of the shops on Teviot Place traded in medical equipment, books and clothing for the hospital and medical staff. The tradition is ongoing with some premises continuing to trade medical learning products (2011).
(List description updated at re-survey 2011-12.)
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