We helped to restore a hidden Victorian shopfront at 37-41 Nicolson Street.
Facade returned to former glory
The property is a category C (s) listed building, purpose-built in 1899 as multi-floored shop premises and currently used as a Poundsavers Store. In 2009 repairs to the stonework and roof were completed, followed by restoration work to unveil the original Victorian shopfront, which survived largely intact beneath later timber framing. Architectural features such as a cornice, pilasters, and delicate glazing bars were repaired, along with new double doors and appropriate paintwork.
This late Victorian commercial building was designed by the architect Peter L. Henderson (1848-1912). 37-41 Nicolson Street represents a work of significance for the architect, Henderson, who was essentially a brewers’ and licensed trades architect, known for the predominantly industrial nature of his work.
The building was originally known as ‘McIntyre’s drapery stores’. John McIntyre & Co were ‘Warehousemen and Costumiers of ladies’ dress’, who used the three public sales floors of 37-41 Nicolson Street to sell their wares. The building followed the lead set by larger stores in Edinburgh such as Jenners Department Store, designed by William Hamilton Beattie and built 1893-5.
“This is an exciting opportunity to rejuvenate a key route into the World Heritage Site. Sensitive restoration work on such a prominent building will make a real difference to both the visual impact and character of the street in this busy district of the city.”
Conservation Architect for Edinburgh World Heritage
”Before, people had a different view of the business,” he said. “It was a bit shabby and now it’s more classy. There was an old plastic sign, which has been removed and it is closer to the early 19th century fascia that was there originally. We have had a very good response from customers and are really proud that we have done it. Passers-by say it looks really nice and is enticing them into the shop.” – Naseer Ahmed, co-owner