Pall Mall, South Side, Existing Buildings
No. 123 Pall Mall
No. 123 Pall Mall was built between 1880 and
1882 for the Life Association of Scotland. (ref. 1) The
architect was Alexander Peebles, and the contractor was James Morter of Stratford, E. The
carved friezes were the work of William Plows.
The architect's drawing was exhibited at the
Royal Academy in 1881. (ref. 2) The building appears
to have been designed for use as chambers and
offices (ref. 3) with two shops fronting the street. (ref. 4) The
ground floor is now occupied by the Mercantile
Bank of India, for whom the front windows were
altered to their present form in 1955–6. (ref. 5)
The stone-built front is a composition of three
stages, divided into three bays—narrow between
wide—and detailed in a florid Renaissance manner. The lowest stage, comprising the ground
storey and mezzanine, is divided by rusticated
pilasters, the central pair flanking the entrance,
before which is a great pedimented porch with
paired Doric columns. Greater emphasis is placed
on the second stage, formed by the second and
third storeys, where the order is Composite, with
fluted three-quarter columns flanking the centre,
and panelled pilasters at each end, their shafts and
the entablature frieze being profusely decorated
with carved arabesque ornament. The secondstorey windows have Composite tabernacleframes, with balustraded pedestals, plain-shafted
columns, and triangular pediments. The squat
pilasters of the attic stage have panelled shafts and
crude Ionic capitals, and the entablature is surmounted by a balustrade.
||C.E.O., file 13411.
The Builder, 4 June 1881, p. 711; P.O.D.
The Builder, 4 June 1881, p. 704.
||C.E.O., file 18113.