October 2015: Landmark designs draw on the past

As autumn draws in and we begin to think about Christmas shopping, PRONI’s document of the month for October features a photo-lithograph of an original drawing for the former Robinson and Cleaver’s department store.

Merged Picture photo-lithograph of an original drawing for the former Robinson and Cleaver’s department store The building was originally designed by renowned architects Young and Mackenzie and this lithograph was part of their archive of drawings which PRONI holds.

Jim Adams and Rose Kelly, who both chose the document said

 "We came across this stunning lithograph when carrying out conservation cleaning and decided to choose it as a document of the month given the seminal status of Robinson and Cleaver in Belfast’s retailing history. PRONI holds a vast array of Young and Mackenzie papers which include drawings, maps and plans.  The architects also designed some of the most iconic buildings in Belfast such as Anderson & McAuley’s and the Scottish Provident Building.

To highlight the significant changes that have occurred to the surrounding area since the building was built, the original lithograph has been merged with a photograph taken from the same aspect in the present day"

Jim and Rose continued

“The merged picture underlines how the Robinson & Cleaver building retains a striking presence in the city centre while its surroundings have been updated almost beyond recognition. It is sited at the corner of Donegall Place and Donegall Square North and was completed in 1888. The image was photo-lithographed and printed from an original drawing by the artist Maurice B. Adams.

Adams completed the drawing in 1888 and it is a beautifully detailed rendition of the building which shows it off in all its glory. Adams’s drawing depicts the building shortly after it opened and we can see from this how little the building has changed in well over 100 years”.

The PRONI reference for the Young and Mackenzie archive is D2194.

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