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Basic Site Details

Name: The Beach Ballroom
Town, district or village: Sea Beach
City or county: Aberdeen
Country: Scotland
Parish:  
Status: B listed
Grid ref:
Notes: To increase the amenities and attractiveness of the beach, Aberdeen Town Council invited competitive designs for a beach improvement scheme including the erection of a dance hall to accommodate 500 and a restaurant to seat 250.

It is not absolutely certain that the work done by Gardner was on this building - it may have been a quite separate structure.

Star Ballroom probably by George Keith City Architect, 1961-4; renovated 1970s.

'It was built as part of the 'Beach Improvement
Scheme', at a cost of 50,000, to the winning design in a competition held by Aberdeen Town Council. It replaced an 1882 timber pavilion, perhaps the inspiration for the unusual roof design. The official opening on 23 May 1929 took the form of a masked ball and carnival with costumes ranging from Louis XIV's Court to Sioux Indians and shepherdesses. During World War II, the building was commandeered by the Admiralty, and re-opened at Christmas 1946. The ballroom floor, which floats on 1400 steel springs, was originally made of maple and was replaced in 1955.' (HS)

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 1Beach pavilion  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1EsplanadeYes 

Events

The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 41926  Competiton held and building constructed
Item 2 of 41929 OpenedFormal opening
Item 3 of 4Before 1954  Alterations?
Item 4 of 419611964AdditionStar Ballroom added

People

Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 7John KeppieArchitect 1926 Aberdeen Beach Improvement Scheme
Item 2 of 7Thomas RobertsArchitectA1926 Won competition to secure job
Item 3 of 7Thomas Roberts and HumeArchitectural practiceA1926 Won competition to secure job
Item 4 of 7William HumeArchitectA1926 Won competition to secure job
Item 5 of 7Alexander Buchanan GardnerArchitect Before 1954 Alterations?
Item 6 of 7Aberdeen City Architect's Department (later City of Aberdeen District Council Architects Division)Architectural practiceC19611964Addition of Star Ballroom - with Keith as City Architect
Item 7 of 7George McIntosh KeithArchitectC19611964Star Ballroom added

Clients

The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
 NameNotes
Item 1 of 1Aberdeen Town Council 

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Parent Structure and Site

This structure is related to the following parent structure or site (click the item to view details):
 Building nameNotes
Item 1 of 1Beach Improvement SchemeTo increase the amenities and attractiveness of the beach, Aberdeen Town Council invited competitive designs for the erection of a dance hall to accommodate 500, a restaurant to seat 250, a variety entertainment pavilion to hold 750 and a series of blocks of shops with provision for the further extension of the scheme by the erection of a concert hall to hold 1,000 persons. Twenty designs were received.

Keppie believed all the schemes to be over the 50,000 budget, but considered that it should be possible to amend the winning proposals. The council subsequently approved Roberts and Hume 's amended scheme comprising dance hall, The Beach Ballroom, (24,288); restaurant (7,811); variety pavilion - the Gaiety (7,218); eight shops (3,200); roads 200.

Note - the winning design shows the Gaiety variety theate and shops to be separate blocks and not part of the ballroom/restaurant complex. The Gaiety is believed to have been demolished in the 1960's. The fate of the shops is unclear.

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Aberdeen Town Council Town Council Minutes This is a published version of the Minutes (no bibliographical details known as yet)7 June 1954 (check this) (may be 1964)

Item 2 of 2www.theatrestrust.org.uk/ www.theatrestrust.org.uk/ - Theatres Database of the Theatres Trust  http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/resources/theatres/show/2364-beachpavilion-

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder30 July 1926CXXXI pp 160, 166, 170 171
Results of competition. Plans, illustrations etc. of winning design
Item 2 of 2Builder17 September 1926  p471 Amended proposals to bring the scheme within budget approved

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 2Aberdeen City ArchivesAberdeen city plans Various Plans (Acc 099, 116)
Item 2 of 2Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register20314 

Images

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