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- Category: B
- Date Added: 16/08/2000
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 25783 73221
- Coordinates: 325783, 673221
Sydney Mitchell and Wilson, 1899-1900. 2-storey, 4-bay Scots Renaissance church and offices sited to the centre of a street run. Smooth red sandstone ashlar, painted to ground. Bays divided by pilasters, channelled at ground, fluted Ionic pilasters at 1st floor. Continuous cornices at ground floor and eaves. Recessed 2-leaf timber panelled door with leaded glass in decorative fanlight in key-blocked round-arched surround with broken pediment containing cartouche to outer left; decorative wrought-iron gates. 3-light mullioned and transomed window in 2nd bay from left. 2 bay shop to right. 4 tall round-arched windows with geometric tracery and clear leaded glass at 1st floor. Blind oculus in central shaped wallhead gable (strapwork decoration effaced), flanked by parapet. Pitched roof with gablet roof behind pediment and two gables to rear forming F-plan.
Small-pane leaded glazing to upper lights of shop windows. Grey slates. End stacks.
INTERIOR (seen 2000): leaded lights to vestibule screen. Offices and former shops to ground and basement. Fine staircase with green glazed Art Nouveau dado tiling, iron balusters and timber handrail. Church at 1st floor: L-plan galleries; vaulted roof with Tudor-arched ribs; modillioned cornice; decorative corbels to ribs; tiered galleries with bracketed timber front; 2 Tudor arches and mutual column to upper side aisle; later glazed screen to lower side aisle; boarded dado. Pilastered pulpit with arched and corniced wall panel behind. Timber pews. Boxed immersion pool. Pipe organ to main gallery (Gray and Davidson, 1900).
Statement of Special Interest
Place of worship still in use. A well-detailed late 19th century Renaissance style church with a prominent red sandstone elevation to the centre of the urban street run, and containing a contemporary and intact interior decoration scheme.
The church was originally built for the Evangelical Union to include a church, 2 shops, classroom, and lunch room and ladies room in the basement. There was previously a Baptist Chapel on this site from the earlier 19th century. Details of pilasters and tracery are taken from those at the Tron Church. Apart from the impressive staircase, the internal fittings are restrained and the glazing clear, in order to concentrate attention on the centrally-placed pulpit. Although the exterior strapwork of the pediment has been effaced, the building remains largely complete inside (as of 2000). The building was acquired by the Adventist church in August 1942.
The planned street triangle of Forrest Road, Bristo Place and Teviot Row was conceived as part of Thomas Hamilton's (1784-1858) vision for the new Southern Approach Road linking Princes Street to George Square and the Meadows (via the Mound, Bank Street and a the new George IV Bridge). The City Improvement Act brought in by Lord Provost Chambers in 1867 was to implement better housing standards and to replace the medieval slum areas in Edinburgh's Old Town.
(List description updated at re-survey 2011-12.)
Edinburgh City Archive, Dean of Guild Collection, (February 1899). J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh (1984) p169. Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk (accessed 2011).
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