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Latitude: 57.1467 / 57°8'48"N
Longitude: -2.0976 / 2°5'51"W
OS Eastings: 394192
OS Northings: 806204
OS Grid: NJ941062
Mapcode National: GBR SCJ.72
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.RMBM
Entry Name: 73-77 (Odd Nos) Union Street, Topshop Topman
Listing Date: 27 July 2007
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 399608
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50957
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
George Watt, 1929. Distinctive 4-storey, 5 x 3-bay Art Deco shop situated at critical city centre junction with elevations to N (Union Street) and E (Market Street). Slightly advanced central shallow-pedimented 3-bay sections rising from 1st to 2nd storey to N and E with pilasters dividing bays. Grey granite ashlar, render and rubble to rear. Broad, corniced fascia to shopfront. Shallow stepped blocking course with decorative roundels below. Altered shopfront, now with corner entrance (2006).
Predominantly 4-light margined casement metal windows, plate glass to ground. Coped gable stack.
INTERIOR: seen (2006). Comprehensively modernised.
This former Burton's store is a distinctive building, situated at an important corner site connecting the main thoroughfares of Union Street and Market Street. Built in the Burton's typical Art Deco style, its simple streamlined appearance is enlivened by the decorative margined metal windows and narrow pilasters and it contributes positively towards the streetscape of this important corner. The Art Deco Style was popular in the 1920s and 30s and is particularly associated with Burton shops of the period. It contrasts here with the earlier classical style of Union Street.
Burton's tailor shop occupied this site from 1923 until 1980 and the building is depicted in a 1937 photograph with decorative shop windows. As this particular building was not built until 1929 it is possible that they commissioned the building.
George Watt (1865-1931) was an Aberdeen based architect. His output consists of both private dwellings and public buildings in the Aberdeen area and includes the Aberdeen Public Library (see separate listing).
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, haphazard network of 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. Market Street was laid out in 1840 by the architect Archibald Simpson, who had designed many of the classical buildings in the expanding nineteenth century city. Aberdeen developed greatly during the nineteenth century, especially in trade reliant on the Harbour, and this street was built to provide easier access from Union Street to the Harbour.
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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