No 87 George St seems to have remained as private accommodation until 1835, when it was remodelled by David Bryce, who was employed to alter a number of George St frontages.
Bryce’s plan increased the amount of space available at ground floor level by extending the building over two thirds of the garden area. The mews building was not accessible at this level from the main building, and may have been reached at basement level. A room behind the showroom, with a fully glazed wall into the remainder of the garden space may have been a particularly well-lit workshop.
The upper floors were given separate access from the ground floor showroom. A stair was added in what would previously have been a long hallway, divided by a wall from the showroom with direct access form the street.
The remainder of the ground floor was remodelled as a single, magnificent space. Two pairs of pillars created an impression of a double room, with the most elaborate space to the rear of the showroom, The rear showroom was top-lit after the fashion of an art gallery, offering excellent illumination together with privacy.
The upper floors may have continued to function as domestic accommodation at this stage, or they may have been used as workshops.
Bryce’s drawings show an elaborate new front at ground floor level, with a central opening giving access to the shops, flanked by large plate-glass windows. To the right, a narrower doorway gives access to the upper floors of the building. Bryce’s ground floor elevation includes the addition of decorative classical surrounds at first floor level, giving an appropriate hierarchy of decoration to the previously plain facade.
The interior of the new showroom was elaborately decorated. It is a tribute to Bryce’s skill as an architect that both the original plasterwork and joinery of the showroom and interior layout has largely been retained.
- Simpson & Brown Architects, July 2010
A Remarkable Collection of Regulator Clocks
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