Edinburgh saw a surge of red sandstone buildings beig erected towards the end of the nineteenth century – and most of them are still standing today.
Although Glasgow and the west of Scotland was full of them, red sandstone architecture was quite rare in the Capital, as the nearest quarries were located over a hundred kilometres away in the south of Scotland.
That all changed with the expansion of the country’s railway network in the 1890s, which allowed for the transportation of huge quantities of quarried stone from sites in Dumfries and Annan at an affordable cost.
As a result, by the end of the century, Edinburgh would have plenty of red sandstone buildings – among them the Caledonian Hotel, the King’s Theatre, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and Lauriston fire station.
1. Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian (1890-1903)
Originally built as a railway station with the hotel added in 1903, the Caley, as this building is affectionately known, was once referred to as a "grand old Glasgow dame come to Edinburgh" on account of its red hue. Photo: TSPL
2. Sick Kids hospital (1892-97)
The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, as it is officially known, may be due to close, but we're delighted its magnificent red sandstone edifice will remain for years to come. Photo: TSPL
3. Lauriston Fire Station (1897-1901)
Designed by Robert Morham, the old Edinburgh Fire Brigade Station at Lauriston Place was until recently home to the Edinburgh Fire Museum. Photo: TSPL
4. Edinburgh College of Art (1972)
By far the newest building on our list, the Hunter building of Edinburgh College of Art is built from the same Locharbriggs sandstone as its neoclassical predecessor situated to its rear. Photo: TSPL