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- Date Added
- Supplementary Information Updated
- Local Authority
- Planning Authority
- NO 4042 3019
- 340420, 730190
James Thomson Dundee City Architect, assisted by Vernon Constable 1913-1922, interior work executed by Scott Morton. Imposing, well-detailed, monumental rectangular-plan, city centre concert hall with notable Leipzig-type interior to main hall and French Rococo interior to subsidiary Marryat Hall. Office complex, including former Council Chambers suite with figurative coloured glass, in 2 additional storeys in fall of ground to Crichton Street, Shore Terrace and Castle Street. City Square (NW) facade with Roman Doric colonnade 13 bays long on stepped stylobate, end bays panelled square piers, inner bays fluted columns, plain frieze but mutuled cornice. 3 central doors in arched recesses, raised channel-jointed surrounds, similar end doors beyond colonnade. Polished sandstone ashlar with roofs partly low pitched slate and partly flat.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: 3-storey facades to Castle Street (NE) and Shore Terrace (SE), and symmetrical 7-bay elevation to Crichton Street (SW) with additional bay to left, western end of composition partly overlaid by modern additions. Commemorative foundation stones to SW corner.
INTERIOR: Leipzig-type concert hall with good classical details, very fine plasterwork, flat compartmentalised ceiling, U-plan gallery, large organ case at stage. Subsidiary Marryat Hall in French Rococo manner with elaborate plasterwork throughout, pilasters, square columns, mirrors and early electroliers. Hall and stairs terrazzo floored, and with marble and mahogany panelling and good plasterwork. Administrative offices at upper and lower basement levels, those beneath Marryat Hall originally built as Council Chambers suite with decorative figurative glazing. Low market arcade at Shore Terrace level now incorporated into offices.
Statement of Special Interest
The Caird Hall occupies a commanding location overlooking Dundee's City Square where it makes a significant architectural contribution to this high profile public space. The quality of design is carried through to its outstandingly fine interiors as well as the outer elevations. The Caird Hall was built at a cost of £100,000 and it is named after Sir James Caird, a local industrialist who partly financed it. The building was completed after the First World War with the financial assistance of Caird's sister, Mrs Emma Grace Marryat. The foundation stones were laid by King George V and Queen Mary who pressed emerald and jade buttons respectively within Sir James Caird's Ashton Works at Hawkhill, a mile away. The emerald button was subsequently incorporated into the Lord Provost's Chain of Office. The building of the City Square complex caused the demolition of notable 16th, 17th and 18th century buildings including Provost Pierson's House, Strathmartine's Lodging, The Vault, and the Old Town House designed by William Adam. The Hall was used for occasional film showings, the last known one being in 1945.
Architect James Thomson also designed the 1909 King's Theatre in Dundee's Cowgate (see separate listing), which later became known as the Garrison. Peter states that King's 'was perhaps the most outstanding of Dundee's theatres' (pp198-202). After a number of reworkings, the King's Theatre was finally turned into a themed pub 1998. Thomson's other Dundee commissions include the Carnegie libraries at Blackness and Coldside, Dundee Town House restoration and housing schemes at Logie, Stirling Park and Taybank.
Category revised from B to A as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2008-09.
A Guide To The City Chambers (1992), research by City of Dundee District Council Planning Department; McKean and Walker RIAS Dundee An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1993), p16-18. Bruce Peter Scotland's Splendid Theatres (1999), pp198-202. www.theatrestrust.org.uk/resources/theatres/show/2349-king-s-dundee [accessed 27.04.09]. The Builder (Late 1923), pp682, 684 (plans, illus). www.scottisharchitects.org.uk. [accessed 27.04.09].
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Printed: 18/02/2019 17:03