27, 29, 31 ALVA STREET, INCLUDING RAILINGS (Ref:28237)
This building is in the Edinburgh, City Of Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 14/12/1970.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NT 24480 73641.
J Gillespie Graham, 1823; executed by R Hutchinson 1826-30. 3-storey, 7-bay classical terrace unified townhouse façade with main-door and common stair flats behind; basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls. Sandstone ashlar, droved at basement channelled at ground floor. Entrance platts oversailing basement. Base course at ground floor; banded cill courses at 1st and 2nd floors. Corniced eaves course with blocking course over. Doors in round arched surrounds, fanlights with radial glazing. Architraved windows at 1st and 2nd floors (corniced at 1st floor). Cast-iron anthemion balconies at 1st floor. Predominantly 15-pane and 12-pane in timber sash and case. Double pitch M-section roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar gable stacks with modern clay cans. Cast-iron railings on ashlar coping stone edging basement recess to street.
A well composed classical terrace with Greek motifs such as anthemion balconies. The composition is well detailed and has been retained largely unaltered with few additions affecting the roof line. The Alva Street terraces were constructed after those in Stafford Street and the 3-storey houses at Nos. 27-31 thus terminate the Alva Street building line. The simple Greek interior scheme which originally featured internally is now no longer evident. The juxtaposition between the earlier terrace in Stafford Street and the later Alva Street work is unusual in the New Town where later phases of development were commonly designed to integrate with earlier developments.
Alva Street lay on land belonging to Lord Alva, who acted as a trustee for James Erskine. The plan for this part of his estate was drawn up by Gillespie Graham, but the land was sold in 1825 to a lawyer, James Stuart. Nothing was done to develop the site, and the land was sold again to a builder (Robert Hutchison) in 1826. It was under his ownership that the street was built to the original Gillespie Graham plan by 1830.
James Gillespie Graham was best known for designing country houses and churches in the Gothic style, and his work was predominantly on Gothic churches and castellated country houses. He produced relatively little classical work, but in addition to Gray's House in Elgin (see separate listing) his most notable work was the Moray Estate. The monumental style of the architecture, in which he was influenced by Adam's Charlotte Square (see separate listing) can also be seen in Alva Street which takes the form of end pavilions flanking a central run of terraced townhouses.
(List description revised 2009 as part of re-survey.)
Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1849-53); John Wood, Plan of the City of Edinburgh, including all the latest and intended improvements (1823); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 369; Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600 -1840, (1995).
© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.