George Smith (Edinburgh), 1828. 2- and 3-storey, 5-bay, rectangular-plan, classically-detailed former public meeting rooms on prominent end of block site. Sandstone ashlar, painted ground floor, concealed roof. Greek Doric order to ground floor front elevation, Ionic to 1st. Corniced ground floor, cill band to 1st floor, corniced parapet, balustraded at 5 right hand bays of Dock Street elevation. Large 4-pane timber sash and case windows to principal floor, 15-pane with architraves and cornices to 5 right hand 1st floor bays at Dock Street, mostly 12-pane elsewhere. Corniced stacks.
FRONT (SHORE TERRACE) ELEVATION: 2-leaf panelled door to centre with columned portico flanked by columned shopfronts in antis, outer bays slightly advanced with paired angle pilasters, altered entrance to public house at right, window formed from door at left. Piano nobile; 5 margined windows with consoled cornices, wreathed clock over centre window, 3 centre bays pilastraded, outer bays slightly advanced with distyle Ionic porticos, entablature and parapet.
EXCHANGE STREET ELEVATION: 10-bay. 5 doors to ground floor (1 blocked as window), 6 shop windows, segmental-arched pend entry to left, all openings original with moulded jambs; 10 windows to 1st and 2nd floor, 3 bays to right blinded. Mansard roof with dormers behind parapet.
DOCK STREET ELEVATION: 2-storey, 3-bay section to left with 4-bay pilastraded ground floor (window and door arrangement altered), tripartite window in recessed segmental panel to centre of piano nobile with balustraded apron and Tower of the Winds columned mullions, flanked by windows as at Shore Street; 3-storey, 5-bay section to right, 3 doors (1 blocked as window) and 4 shop windows to ground floor with moulded jambs, 5 windows to 1st and 2nd floors. Mansard roof
with dormers behind parapet.
INTERIOR: of exceptional quality and well preserved. Fluted Doric columned corridor precedes wide cantilevered stair with cast-iron anthemion balusters, single doorpieces, large blocked tripartite window and coffered ceiling. 1st floor hall with 30 foot high coved ceiling;
original joinery and Greek key plasterwork; later skylight inserted; complex Queen-post roof. Ground floor mosaic and stained glass to inner doors. Part groin-vaulted basement.
Statement of Special Interest
Built as a Coffee House, Assembly Rooms, Merchants' Library and Reading Room, costing the subscribers ?9,000. The ground floor was laid out for shops after 'attempts to arrange with the government for it to be converted to a Customhouse terminated unfavourably'. Building contractors were Messrs John and James Rutherford of Edinburgh.
DUNDEE DIRECTORIES indicate the building was a Music Hall from 1870-1888, the City Assembly Rooms from 1888-1910, and the Masonic Temple (Dundee) Ltd from 1911-1923. The building was from 1926-92 the printing works of David Winter and Son; in 1993 the City of Dundee District Council acquired the building and intend to restore certain original features. George Smith's watercolour shows multi-pane
windows to the front elevation, with 2-leaf doors to the outer bays and parapet sculptures of Britannia and neptune; a clock is shown at the parapet.