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- Category: C
- Date Added: 19/12/2002
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 28462 74184
- Coordinates: 328462, 674184
Ebenezer James MacRae, 1937-8. Local authority housing scheme comprising 47 3- and 4-storey, predominantly 7-bay tenements, mainly arranged in two linked tapering squares. 3-bay canted corners to corner blocks. Regularly spaced slightly advanced gablet-headed bays. Advanced round stair turret to centre of Portobello road elevation. Some piend roofed dormers to 4-storey blocks. Hammer-dressed snecked rubble with ashlar angle quoins and bull-faced lintels and quoins to windows. Some 4-storey blocks harled at 1st-3rd floors. Basecourse. Cill courses to rendered blocks. Roll moulded surrounds to timber boarded doors. Roll moulded relieving arches above some doorways. Regular fenestration of single and paired windows.
Some original 12-pane glazing in sash and case windows, many non-traditional windows. Mixture of gabled and piended roofs. Grey scotch and welsh slate. Ashlar-coped skews. Prominent coped stacks with some clay cans.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND RAILINGS: low coped rubble boundary wall with plain cast iron railings to front of all tenements.
Statement of Special Interest
Built on the site of the Piershill cavalry barracks, which were vacated by the army in 1934. Although the barracks were completely demolished, most of the stone was re-used and further stone for the tenements came from other demolished buildings; dressings for the corners, lintels and cills came from Darney Quarry in Northumberland. E J MacRae was the City Architect from 1925 to 1946. His interpretation of traditional Scottish architecture, as seen at Piershill, made him an important influence on Edinburgh architecture in the twentieth century. The Piershill scheme occupies a prominent position on Portobello road, and has been described by Charles McKean in the RIAS guide to Edinburgh as "By far the most distinctive council house development in Edinburgh".
OFFICIAL ARCHITECT, SEPTEMBER 1941 p427-429, article about Piershill Housing Scheme by E J Macrae. Charles McKean, EDINBURGH, RIAS guide (1982) p104. Gifford, McWilliam & Walker, BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND, EDINBURGH (1988), p566.
Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.
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