12, 14, 16 WALKER STREET (Ref:29882)
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 24317 73554.
Robert Brown, 1822-25. 9-bay terrace comprising unified façade of 2- and 3-storey classical townhouses with main-door and common stair flats behind. Slightly advanced corner block to S with end return to William Street; later additions to attic. Basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls. Sandstone ashlar, droved ashlar to basement, channelled ashlar at ground floor. Entrance platts oversailing basement. Band course at ground, 1st and 2nd floors; narrow banded string course at 1st floor. Corniced eaves course with shallow stepped parapet, balustraded parapet to 2-storey houses. Timber 6-panel doors with square headed doorpieces and plain rectangular fanlights. Architraved, corniced and bracketed surround to centre of corner block to S. Cast-iron balconies on foliate brackets to first floor windows. S (WILLIAM STREET) ELEVATION: 3 storeys, 3 bays. Squared coursed rubble with droved ashlar long and short quoins (stone cills and lintels). Single window to centre at ground floor and 1st and 2nd storey. E (REAR) ELEVATION: 4-storey. Regular coursed rubble with some long and short ashlar quoins. Advanced and recessed wall plane with some later additions. Ashlar rybats, lintels and sills to irregular fenestration, some with relieving arches. Predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case windows. Some 12-pane and 6-over 9-pane in timber sash and case. Double pitch M-section roof; Grey slates. Corniced ashlar gable end stacks with modern clay cans. Cast iron railings on sandstone coping edging basement recess to street; spear head finials. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
The townhouses are an important surviving component of the original design for the Walker Estate by Robert Brown. Walker Street forms a key part of a fine classical grouping, tying together key residential components of the plan, linking Melville Crescent (see separate listing) with Coates Crescent (see separate listing) in addition to linking two important public spaces marked with significant public works of art, with the Gladstone Memorial in Coates Crescent (see separate listing) and the Melville Memorial in Melville Crescent (see separate listing). The terrace demonstrates well-detailed architectural treatment and a good example of the late Georgian style in which the Walker Estate was designed.
Walker Street was at the centre of land owned by Patrick Walker, which was developed to a plan drawn up by Robert Brown in 1813. Walker Street is a main axis through the development, and takes its name from Sir Patrick.
Robert Brown was an experienced architect, and by the time he was involved with the deigns for the Walker Estate he had already designed several other urban schemes, including between 1810 and 1830 laying out streets in Portobello on land belonging to the Marques of Abercorn. His other notable works include Newington and St. Leonard's church (now The Queen's Hall) and the rearrangement of the interiors for Yester House on behalf of the Marques of Tweeddale. Robert Brown worked on a number of smaller projects in the New Town but the cohesive planning of the Walker estate is amongst one of the best examples of his work. He was especially competent in the design of corner pavilions and parades of shops, as can be seen in his work at North West Circus Place (see separate listing).
(List description revised in 2009 as part of re-survey.)
Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1849-53); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 381; Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, (1988) p. 215.
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