Honeyman and Keppie with likely assistance from C R Mackintosh,
1894-95. 2-storey and attic, 3-bay Glasgow Style/Art Nouveau, former conservative clubhoue with shops at ground now with storage/residential use to upper storeys. Droved red sandstone ashlar with polished ashlar dressings. Ashlar mullioned windows with moulded cills and lintels. Windows breaking eaves to attic storey in tall moulded parapet, curved at centre over traceried opening.
W (SINCLAIR STREET/ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: doorcase to outer left, shop to right. Roll-moulded doorway with 2-leaf panelled doors incorporating small squared glazed panes (now blocked) to upper panels, pilaster-0strips flanking with moulded consoles with cartouche style decoration, supporting semi-circular canopied pediment housing deep-set small-pane fanlight. Shallow canted full-height bay to left, 3-light mullioned and transomed window at 1st floor with basket-arched lights, single windows on both returns. Tripartite window above breaking eaves with scrolled foliate apron. Upper panes of 1st floor window and window above framed by scroll-moulded surround springing from masque label stops at lintel of 1st floor window and with foliate decoration at angles of attic window, surmounted at centre by carved stylised tree. Tripartite mullioned and transomed window to right at 1st floor with basket-arched lights to casement windows. Shallow, canted, corbelled bay above with single window with scroll-moulded surround, foliate mouldings to angles and foliate apron. Depressed-arch niche between bays at 1st floor with statue of St Andrew (crest of conservative club), pierced panel to parapet. Plate glass to casement windows at 1st floor with fixed stained glass panels above; sash and case windows to attic sotrey with plate glass to lower sashes, 6-pane to upper sashes; lead-pane glazing to stair window. Pitched glazed roof to attic storey and to hall at rear (see interior); original, cast-iron rainwater goods; red sandstone corniced end stacks.
INTERIOR: good quality interior with many original features including wainscot and chimneypieces. Stone stair with wrought-iron (possibly later) balustrade, timber handrail and stylised newel posts. Large hall to rear at 1st floor (now partitioned to accommodate storage) wainscot, cornice, semi-circular arched chimneypiece with rusticated keystone and Glasgow style moulding to overmantel, glazed panels to braced collar roof. Former billiard room to attic storey, wainscot, chimneypieces to end walls, glazed panels to braced collar roof. Smaller service rooms to rear with original chimneypieces.
Statement of Special Interest
Number 38-40 Sinclair Street is one of the most interesting and handsome buildings in the town of Helensburgh with a shallow undulating facade of finely worked masonry with crisply detailed carvings. Officially opened in December 1895 as an clubhouse for the Helensburgh and Gareloch Conservative Club, it originally had 2 shops on the ground floor to generate revenue, the 1st floor fronting Sinclair Street was occuped by a reading and smoking room (now opened as one room and in residential use), to the rear on this floor there is a large hall which was for public meetings, the attic storey housed the billiard room and caretaker's offices. The innovative design of the principal facade and the interior suggest that Mackintosh was involved in the design of the clubhouse. He had been in the offices of Honeyman and Keppie since 1889 and while many commissions at this period were ostensibly designed by John Keppie, many including the extension of the Glasgow Herald Building and Queen Margaret Medical College in the 1890's, were considered minor projects not warranting the attention of a senior member of the firm and were placed in the hands of a junior such as Mackintosh, who's reputation as an original architect soom spread.