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Latitude: 55.9762 / 55°58'34"N
Longitude: -3.1768 / 3°10'36"W
OS Eastings: 326655
OS Northings: 676536
OS Grid: NT266765
Mapcode National: GBR 8R5.Z6
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.51GX
Entry Name: Edinburgh, Leith, 55-57 Couper Street, Messrs Melrose Tea
Listing Date: 29 April 1977
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 363532
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB26747
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Leith
Traditional County: Midlothian
Style of George Washington Browne, 1900. Free Renaissance warehouse and head office building forming open U-plan on obliquely angled corner site. Cream sandstone, principal elevation ashlar, ashlar base course and parapet; red engineering bricks to rear.
S (COBURG STREET) ELEVATION: 2-storey 9-bay ashlar front on base course raised to cill at ground floor; moulded architraves and cornices; cill course to shorter 1st floor windows. Polished pink granite arcaded doorpiece to oblique left angle consists of pair of arched doorways supported on panelled piers turning corner, with shallow entablature and blank paterae in spandrels; plate glass doors, right doorway filled-in unsympathetically with concrete leaving upper window only.
Taller outer left bay pedimented and flanked by corbelled turrets above ground; single window at ground, stepped tripartite at 1st floor with block corniced lights and heavy keystone to centre light. Dentilled pediment and cartouche in tympanum (initials JM and JE); barrel finial. Turrets each with bipartites at 1st floor and breaking eaves in louvred, Ionic columned and corniced dome capped cupolae.
Bays to right lower, 5 centre bays with cornice, regular fenestration and parapet coping breaking over open oculi to each bay; final 3 bays with 4 short windows at ground, end one with round-headed frame and 3/4 engaged columns (opening in base course filled in); above, single windows to left and keystoned round window to right frame canted tripartite oriel.
SW (COUPER STREET) ELEVATION: 3-storey and basement 9-bay warehouse front on ground rising to N; squared and snecked cream sandstone with long and short ashlar dressings; regular fenestration; 3 N bays with attic storey and further parapet; bipartite windows punched in base course; tall single windows at ground; shorter bipartite windows to 1st floor, small tripartite windows to 2nd floor with chamfered reveals; similar bipartites to attic storey. Right bay with broad depressed-arch carriage pend through basement and ground floors; pal stones. From right at ground, window between bays 5 and 6, bay 7 with bipartite window, windows between bays 7 to 9.
REAR ELEVATIONS: red brick; canted staircase bay to office range, with tall, narrow windows.
Windows a variety of timber sash and case and casements, both multi-pane and plate glass. Pitched roof to offices, pitched and flat-topped to warehouse; grey slates. Ashlar coped skews.
INTERIOR: Free Renaissance style continues in timber detailing and cornices; entrance hall with pilastered timber lobbies and oak stair with turned balusters and panelled newels; main room at ground with panelled fire surround, and overmantel framed by engaged fluted columns supporting entablature of room; meeting room at 1st floor with oak doorcases and cornices, windows surrounds (panelled pilasters to tripartite window), and arched framing to turrets; fitted panelled cupboards to adjoining closet. Warehouses gutted.
Formerly belonged to Melroses Ltd, Tea Merchants. Warehouse and office now in separate ownership.
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