Peddie and Kinnear, Architects, 1859-61. With later alterations and additions including circa 1890 and Stewart Kaye, 1928. Asymmetrical 3-storey and attic (later 2-storey addition to 3 bays to Cockburn Street) Scots Baronial splayed corner block on irregular site with spired, gabletted octagonal corner tower, conical-roofed tourelle to Market Street and angle turret to Advocate's Close; 2-storey former boiler house adjoining to rear with crenellated parapet and bartizan to NE and NW corners; 2- and 3-storey and attic 8-bay building (former printing works and office) stepped to Advocate's Close; 5-storey and attic Modernist classical corner block with square-plan corner tower with balustraded parapet to NW; gabled, canted bay to SW, broad dentilled cornice; roll-moulded margins to windows above ground floor; mansard roof and flat-roofed dormers. Squared and snecked stugged sandstone (bull-faced to Advocate's Close) with polished dressings; polished ashlar with grey granite facing to ground floor to 1928 block.
NE (COCKBURN STREET) ELEVATION: angle turret to outer left: corbelled to circular at 1st floor and to square at 2nd floor; balustraded balcony to 3rd floor; narrow gable to attic with kneelered skews. 3 5-storey bays to left regularly fenestrated; segmental gabled dormers to attic. Engaged crowstepped gable with apex stack to right. Octagonal corner tower to outer right: 2-leaf timber-panelled storm door and glazed inner door in moulded timber surround; corbelled out to attic floor; finialled, bracketed, segmental pediments to windows in gablets; small timber lucarnes above.
NW (MARKET STREET) ELEVATION: crowstep-gabled bay with apex stack to right of Peddie and Kinnear block: 3-light mullioned window to 2nd floor. 2-leaf timber-panelled storm door in timber moulded surround with small-pane glazed fanlight to centre. 2-storey, finialled, fish-scale-slated tourelle corbelled out at 2nd floor to left. Elevation of 1928 building to right: slightly advanced 3-bay block to left (incorporating altered and raised earlier block) with corners chamfered at 1st and 2nd floors, buckled band between ground and 1st floors; broad eaves cornice; narrow recessed bay 4th from left (entrance and stair): 2-leaf timber panelled storm door with plate glass fanlight (border-glazed 2-leaf timber panelled inner door) in moulded, corniced surround with dated panel over (1928); corniced and festooned window to top floor; broad 3-bay section to right with broad, bracketed eaves cornice, stone-mullioned windows, in chamfered recessed surrounds, tripartite to centre flanked by bipartites, those between ground and 1st floor and between 1st and 2nd floors divided by metal panels; vehicular entrance to left; later, canopied entrance to right; single bay to outer right.
E ELEVATION (TO NEW STEPS): 5 bays, broad, bracketed eaves cornice and balustraded parapet; stone-mullioned windows in chamfered recessed surrounds, tripartite to centre flanked by bipartites, those between ground and 1st floor and between 1st and 2nd floors divided by metal panels; later alterations to form fire escape to left.
FORMER BOILER HOUSE ADJOINING TO REAR: corbel course to parapet, stepping up over 2nd floor windows; bowed corner to SE, corbelled to square at parapet. Timber door to right and 2-leaf timber-boarded door in segmental-arched opening to left at ground floor. Boarded windows at mezzanine.
W ELEVATION TO ADVOCATE'S CLOSE (E SIDE): squared and snecked bull-faced sandstone. String course between ground and 1st floors. Chamfered surrounds to windows; stone mullions to bipartites at 1st floor and dormers to attic. Door in corniced doorpiece flanked by octagonal colonnettes (see Notes) and round-arched recesses; inscription to lintel (see Notes); date (1882) and monograph (WC) above; rosettes to cornice frieze; transoms and crowsteps to dormer above.
Modern glazing to ground floor to Peddie and Kinnear block; plate glass in timber sash and case windows above; 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to former boiler house, 8-pane to printing works; metal-framed border-glazed windows to 1928 block. Grey slates. Corniced stacks with circular cans.
Statement of Special Interest
A Group comprises 1-63 (Odd Nos) and 2-6 and 18-56 (Even Nos) Cockburn Street. The Peddie and Kinnear block was built to accommodate the showroom of Thomas Cumming, trunk, portmanteau and brush-maker, whose premises had been demolished to make way for the building of the street. Known briefly as Lord Cockburn Street, Cockburn Street was named after the doyen of conservationists, Lord Cockburn, who died in 1854. Cockburn Street was built by the High Street and Railway Station Access Company, under the Railway Station Acts of 1853 and 1860, to provide access to Waverley Station from the High Street. The serpentine curve of the street (anticipated in Thomas Hamilton's Victoria Street) gives a gradient of not more than 1:14; James Peddie and Henry J Wylie were the engineers. One of the aims of the design was to conceal the diagonal line of the street from Princes Street. A watercolour perspective drawing of the street by John Laing, published in THE BUILDER of 1860, shows how this was to be achieved. Stylistically, the intention was 'to preserve as far as possible the architectural style and antique character of the locality.'
The building in Advocate's Close was built as an extension of William Chambers' printing works and offices (separately listed, 6 Market Street). The octagonal colonnettes flanking the door were part of the previous building on this site, illustrated by Bruce J Home; the inscription on the lintel reads, 'He that tholes overcomes.' Home also illustrates the Close in 1833, after the demolition of the old buildings, but prior to the building of the printing works.
The former boiler house, which appears on the 1896 OS map, was built for the Edinburgh Evening News. The 1928 block was built as offices and printing works for the Evening News. Dean of Guild drawing show that the tower of this building was intended to have a facetted spire to mirror that on the NE corner of the Peddie and Kinnear block. The steps to W, known as the New Steps, were altered at this time to accommodate the already existing right of way.