2, 4 ALVA STREET, 15, 17 QUEENSFERRY STREET (Ref:28238)
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 24531 73750.
J. Gillespie Graham, designed 1823; executed by Robert Hutchinson. 4-storey, 11 bays (arranged 6-1-4), classical tenement and shop on prominent corner, curved and recessed single bay at corner; basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls to Alva Street. Sandstone ashlar, channelled at ground floor, droved at basement. Banded cill course at 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor. Corniced eaves course. Architraved, corniced openings at 1st and 2nd floors. Advanced timber panelled and plate glass shop front to No. 15 Queensferry Street sweeping around corner, set over basement with Dentilled fascia. Round arched doorway surrounds, some with radial glazing. Cast-iron bowed anthemion balconies to 1st floor. REAR ELEVATION: regular squared coursed rubble with tooled ashlar rybats and lintels to openings. Regular fenestration. Plate glass in timber surrounds to shop front. 12-and 16-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slates, corniced ashlar wallhead and ridge stacks; modern clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
Well-detailed tenement design by James Gillespie Graham. This end block turns the corner into Queensferry Street and is prominently situated at the edge of the former Walker Estate. The plain but well-executed finish and the inclusion of a 4th storey allows the tenement to assert itself over the surrounding streetscape, which is predominantly 2-and 3-storey. The anthemion balconies are a particularly good survival and echo the simple neo Greek interiors which originally featured.
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.)
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).
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