John Kinross of Kinross and Tarbolton, 1898. 2-storey and basement, 3-bay, Scottish 17th century villa, sited on steeply falling ground, almost square in plan with 1st floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerheads at intervals and with single storey and attic service block to NE. Rake-jointed rubble sandstone with contrasting ashlar dressings. Roll-moulded surrounds to windows, stop-chamfered at cills; generously proportioned at ground and to S elevation. Principal gables crowstepped with beak skewputts.
N ELEVATION: main elevation 3-bay with service wing slightly advanced to outer left. Roll-moulded surround to doorway at centre with finely carved floreate panel above; teak boarded door with decorative brass handle. Windows in flanking bays at ground, that to left in broad, lop-sided gabled bay with 1st floor window in moulded surround with decorative, monogrammed (IKM), trapezoid pediment. Gabled dormerhead windows breaking eaves over entrance and to bay to right. 2 closely grouped windows to service block with projecting surround; long sweep to roof above. S ELEVATION: outer bays gabled, that to left advanced, flanking narrow stair bay at centre; Granch windows at centre with forestair to loser landing, blank cartouche above window to upper landing under eaves, window to each floor in flanking bays, those to principal floor with slender-pilastered surround, cornice, moulded cill, small block finials and fleuron boss above. 1st floor windows breaking into gableheads. W ELEVATION: gabled bay to left slightly recessed with gablehead stack. Centre bay with small window at ground and further window breaking eaves above. Canted ashlar windows in bay to outer right, with leaded lights to basement, taller and jettied on billetted corbel course to principal floor with cornice and ornamented parapet. 1st floor window as centre bay. Heraldic panel carved under wallhead stack between centre and outer right bays.
E ELEVATION: gabled bay of lower service block advanced to right with basement to falling ground; windows to scullery and fromer maid's room above; door and window to basement on return to left with blank panel under eaves. Bay to left gabled with slightly advanced chimney breast and window in moulded panel with trapezoid pediment (as above). Small-pane and multi-pane glazing patterns in generous sash and case windows; some leaded casements to basement. Westmoreland slates; ashlar ridge tiles. Moulded coping to gablehead and wallhead stacks.
INTERIOR: finest quality materials and craftsmanship throughout, much realised by Scott Morton and Co. Inlaid marble vestibule and hall floors; parquet floors elsewhere. Marquerty doors with fine brass door fittings. Panelled Dining Room. Decorative 17th-18th century style plasterwork throughout Harold Ogle Tarbolton, Sam Wilson; coombed and barrel-vaulted ceilings. Fine. classically detailed chimneypieces in variety of marbles; some in timber to bedrooms. Built-in cupboards and fitted pantries. Marble staircase with decorative wrought-iron balustrade. BOUNDARY WALLS STEPS GATES GATEPIERS AND RAILINGS: all original. Saddleback ashlar coping to coursed sandstone rubble boundary walls, 16" in diameter; panelled dies with moulded coping and ball finials; ashlar steps to side and rear. Panelled ashlar corniced piers to railings and gates to entrance elevation with decorative wrought-iron railings and gate with overthrow by Thomas Hadden. LAMP POSTS: Thomas Hadden, c1898. Decorative wrought-iron stands bearing spherical lights, sited by main entrance. GARAGE: 1930s free-standing addition to W side at N, replacing original bicycle house, in reasonbly sympathetic manner.
Statement of Special Interest
The four houses at Mortonhall Road (one on the corner 14 Oswald Road), designed en suite were built for Andrew Thomson, of Bannockburn. There were originally only intented to be three (see Dean of Guild, 13/5/1897) leaving one of the four plots blank, but the architect chose to squeeze in No 33, the fourth house named Seven gables, for himself once the money proved to be forthcoming (Dean of Guild 12/8/1897). The villas were avant-garde in their restraint, the degree of comfort and convenience provided throughout and in the modern interpretation of the 17th century Scottish style. No 33 was named Steven Gables and was the most lavishly appointed of the group and cost more than $4,268 to build. The designs were exhibited at the RSA and their influence was wide. All area of fire-proof construction and have terraced gardens falling steeply to the suburban railway cutting. A-group with 31 and 35 Mortonhall Road and 14 Oswald Road.