Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.

24-28 (EVEN NOS) CROWN STREET AND 21-29 (ODD NOS) DEE STREET, FORMER HEAD POST OFFICELB19987

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
26/05/1977
Local Authority
Aberdeen
Planning Authority
Aberdeen
Burgh
Aberdeen
NGR
NJ 93854 5909
Coordinates
393854, 805909

Description

William Thomas Oldrieve, assisted by James Cumming Wynnes, 1904-1907; Maclachlan Monaghan Architects, circa 1999 conversion to flats and additions. 3-storey and attic Scots Baronial former Head Post Office; asymmetrical elevations to Crown Street and Dee Street linked by circa 1999 4-storey, 8-bay wing. Granite ashlar; harled to rear. Base course, cill course at ground floor, corbelled eaves course; crenellated parapet with corbelled bartisans. Crowstepped gables. Predominantly mullioned and transomed openings with roll-moulded and chamfered arrises and raked cills. Some small openings set within bracketed, columned and carved pedimented aedicule.

E (CROWN STREET) ELEVATION: asymmetrical, roughly 8-bay, stepped elevation to line of street. 3-bay centre with crowstepped gabled entrance bay; advanced entrance porch with iron gates and decorative cast-iron arch infill to entrance vestibule set within round-arched opening, flanked by banded and engaged Doric columns, all under open segmental pediment with carved coat of arms. 4-light canted oriel window at 3rd floor. Bracketed and balustraded balconies to tripartite window, flanking entrance bay, at 1st floor with elaborately carved pediment. Bay to left of centre with bipartite windows at ground and 1st floor set within continuous round-arched architrave and carved infill panel to arch; entrance to return with shouldered architrave and round-arched pediment with date plaque. Round tower to far left; attic storey with pedimented windows set within parapet. Bay to right of centre consisting of round tower giving way to corbelled 3rd floor with crowstepped gable. Bay to outer right; carved pediment to window at 2nd floor.

N ELEVATION: return of E (Crown Street) elevation. 4-light canted bay at ground, with recessed entrance and carved semi-circular infill panel incorporating clock; all under bracketed and balustraded balcony. Tripartite windows at 1st and 2nd floors set within continuous round-arched architrave, and carved infill panels between 1st and 2nd floor windows and to arch. Tall corbelled bartizan to right with conical roof.

W (DEE STREET) ELEVATION: 9-bay centre flanked by advanced irregular end bays. Regular fenestration to centre bays; advanced doorpiece at centre with balustrated and bartizaned parapet, 2-leaf panelled timber doors deeply set within lugged architrave, incorporating decorative surround to geometric, coloured glass fanlight above; pedimented 2-light oriel window at 3rd floor, corbelled out to base. Entrances to outer bays with bipartite fanlight, all set within continuous roll-moulded and corniced architrave. Advanced sections with bracketed and balustraded balcony at 1st floor; tripartite windows at 1st and 2nd floors set within continuous round-arched architrave and carved infill panels between 1st and 2nd floors and to arch. Crowstepped gablet at attic to left. Pend to right with 2-leaf cast-iron gates.

S ELEVATION: regular fenestration. 3-bay gable at centre with corbelled base at 1st floor and wallhead stack. Round tower to right. Circa 1999 shorter linking section to left.

Predominantly multi-pane timber sash and case windows; coloured glass to fanlights to W (Dee Street) elevation. Pitched roof, grey slates. Corniced ridge and end stacks with circular clay cans. Stone steps to recessed entrance of N elevation flanked by shallow walls and circular piers, topped with cast-iron railings and small lamp standard to piers.

Statement of Special Interest

B Group consisting of 23, 25 Crown Street, Prudential Building; 27, 29 Crown Street, Britannic House; 57-83 (Odd Nos) Crown Street; 85 Crown Street, Masonic Temple; 89-105 (Odd Nos) Crown Street; 111-119 Crown Street and 9 St Mary's Place; 82 Crown Street; 84, 86, 86 And A Half Crown Street; and 100-122 (Even Nos) Crown Street and 2, 4 Dee Place (see separate list entries).

A well-detailed and rare example of a Head Post Office Building in the Scots Baronial style with touches of Jacobean and Wrenaissance detailing. The principal elevations retain much of their high quality granite detailing including carved pediments and infill panels. The scale and detailing of the building is appropriate for its important former commercial and civic function and is one of Aberdeen's most significant public buildings of this period.

The building, which cost over £55,000, was opened in 1907 by Mr Sydney Buxton, the Postmaster General. This Head Post Office Building replaced the former office at 47-53 Market Street which opened in 1875 (see separate listing). Prior to this, Aberdeen's post offices had occupied various sites around the city, including the Market Cross and 5 Market Street, but the rise in Aberdeen's commercial activity during the 19th century increased the demand for larger and better post office services.

Crown Street was laid out in the 1820s as a residential area close to the commercial centre of Aberdeen. The street is characterised by sections of mainly 2-storey and attic terraced houses. From the 1890s properties at the north end began to be demolished to accommodate commercial buildings, such as the General Post Office.

The post office was converted into flats circa 1999-2001 by Maclachlan Monaghan Architects for Stewart Milne Homes. This conversion also included the demolition of the original linking section and the 1964 addition to the N, for the construction of new blocks of flats and a car park.

William Thomas Oldrieve was appointed Principal Architect for Scotland in HM Office of Works in April 1904, succeeding Walter Wood Robertson. Oldrieve had worked as assistant architect and surveyor in the Office of Works, from 1881, in which he spent some time in the Edinburgh office under Robertson. From 1898 Oldrieve was architect for all provincial post offices in England and Wales, a position secured following a study of post office buildings in Europe. Prior to this appointment he had variously worked in the Chief Architect's Office, London Office of Works; in charge of Manchester District Office of Works and Chief Assistant to the Principal Architect to the Department of Works in England. Oldrieve's works in Scotland include post offices in Stornoway, Kilmarnock and Montrose as well as the extension and remodelling of Head Post Offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow (see separate listings).

Statutory address revised 2012. Formerly listed as "Head Post Office, Crown Street and Dee Street".

References

Bibliography

The Builder 10 Nov 1900, p424 and 13 Apr 1907, pp454-455. Architect 15 Dec 1906, p699 and 19 Apr 1907, p256. Building News 5 Apr 1907, p483. Aberdeen Daily Journal 6 Apr 1907. Post Office Aberdeen Directory (1907-08) pp100, 577 and 278. Evident on 3rd Edition Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1923, published 1928). W A Brogden, Aberdeen: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1998), p108. www.scottisharchitects.org.uk (accessed 13 March 2012). RCAHMS, Canmore ID 148731. British Postal Museum and Archive, Ref POST 32/118-119 and POST 118/6194-6197. Information courtesy of Aberdeen City Council, Planning Department (2012).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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