Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 94258 6192
394258, 806192


Archibald Simpson and William Ramage, 1845. 2-storey, 5-bay classical former Mechanics' Institute (see Notes) with distinctive central pedimented Doric-columned tripartite window. Grey granite ashlar with channelled rustication to central advanced round-arched entrance opening. String courses, black-painted frieze with the words 'METRO HOTEL & RESTAURANT', dentilled cornice, blocking course. Some round-arched arcading to ground at public bar to right, altered public bar front at left. Corniced tall window openings to upper storey with Doric-pilastered architraves.

Plate glass timber sash and case windows to upper storey, non-traditional glazing to ground. Gable stacks.

INTERIOR: not comprehensively seen (2006) but believed to be modernised.

Statement of Special Interest

Built for the Mechanics' Institute, this is a particularly striking building situated in a busy commercial area which is an important thoroughfare in Aberdeen. The building is well-detailed with good classical features, especially on the 1st storey, where the tall windows, the pedimented central section and the wide architraves provide a positive contribution to the streetscape of Market Street. The building was designed by renowned local architect Archibald Simpson, the architect responsible for laying out Market Street in 1840. It was one of the last buildings he designed and is therefore one of particular importance. William Ramage was apprentice to Simpson and drawing master at the Institute.

The building subsequently operated as a hotel and is currently in mixed commercial use (2006).

The Mechanics' Institute in Aberdeen began in 1824 'to afford to tradesmen, at a cheap rate, out of their own subscriptions, opportunities of instruction by means of books, lectures and models in the various sciences connected with the exercise of their calling.' (quoted in Fraser and Lee, p340). With donations and fees, it established and built up a substantial library which it then donated to the new public library in Aberdeen in 1885, when the Institute disbanded.

Market Street was laid out in 1840 by Archibald Simpson, who had designed many of the classical buildings in the expanding nineteenth century Aberdeen. With John Smith, he was responsible for much of the essential classical character of Aberdeen city. Aberdeen expanded 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. It also cleared a notorious slum area of the city called Putachieside. It took its name from a covered indoor market, designed by Archibald Simpson in 1842, but which subsequently burnt down in 1882. Rebuilt in 1884, the market was replaced by a British Home Stores extension in 1971.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map 1866-8. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 1998 p94. R MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000 p129. Cuthbert Graham, Archibald Simpson, Architect of Aberdeen, 1790-1847, 1990 p31. W H Fraser & C H Lee, Aberdeen 1800-2000, A New History, p340.

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 13 AND 15 MARKET STREET

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 30/03/2023 02:35