Capital heritage

I have followed the recent correspondence between David G Black and Cllr Cameron Rose with interest.

The letter from Cllr Rose (10 March) struck me as rather 

I have no architectural qualifications but, like many citizens of Edinburgh, can appreciate whether any new building has any aesthetic value or not.

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In the early 1950s, the building occupied by C & A was burned down (next door to RW Forsyth) and this building was replaced. It was more modern than the building it replaced but, importantly, followed the lines of the adjacent buildings.

This building has subsequently been replaced. Princes Street has always set very high standards but, over my lifetime, these have been slowly eroded. Was there not a bylaw that Edinburgh did not allow red signs in Princes Street?

I say this because, in the 1950s, British European Airways opened in the shop now occupied by O2 (corner of Princes Street and South Charlotte Street).

Their logo was a red square with “BEA” in white capitals, but planning required that this sign was placed in South Charlotte Street because it was not allowed in the main street.

When one now looks at that once proud street, it is a depressing sight.

I could pick out a number of individual eyesores in our beautiful city, as could many readers. The one thing that is a recurring theme in The Scotsman is the “artist’s impression”, which invariably turns out to be a “box”, a “cylinder” or a combination of the two.

Even the proposals for the Royal High consist, externally, of a box added to each side.

Have modern architects no imagination? I would not propose that every building should be replaced with an exact replica, but feel that any new building should sympathetically blend in with those adjacent and nearby.

This does not seem to be considered in any planning application.

I would also like to see the return to pitched roofs rather than the current flat ones.

Colin J Oliver


Broxburn, West Lothian

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