Edinburgh, Scotland invests £1.1 billion to revitalize its historic St Andrew Square

It was once the most desirable address in Edinburgh, Scotland; a hub for Enlightenment thinkers and it played a part in two world wars.

St Andrew Square is a city square located at the east end of George Street. The construction of St Andrew Square began in 1772,[1] as the first part of the New Town, designed by James Craig. Within six years of its completion St Andrew Square became one of the most fashionable residential areas in the city. As the 19th century came to a close, St Andrew Square evolved into the commercial centre of the city.

Most of the rest of the square is made up of major offices of banks and insurance companies, making it one of the major financial centres in Scotland. At one time, St Andrew Square could claim to be the richest area of its size in the whole of Scotland.[2]

Now, St Andrew Square, one of James Craig’s earliest New Town masterpieces, is on the brink of a social and commercial renaissance with more than £1.1 billion worth of rebuilding under way in and around the site.

The square that was once home to Scots philosopher and historian David Hume, whose guests at number eight included American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, has maintained aspects of rich banking and financial history.

Long closed to the public, tens of thousands now use the square each year, which has become a festive focus with its open air ice rink and has staged numerous public exhibitions and events.

2009 photo by Richard Webb via Wikipedia.

See full article by Brian Donnelly in The Herald.

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