Public opinion appears to be divided on the architectural merits of the under construction centrepiece to the new St James complex: the W Hotel.
With some referring to it as the “Golden Turd”, it's safe to say the boldly-designed hotel development is not going to be universally admired – but that’s nothing new.We’ve had a trawl through the archives to find out what city residents made of 12 well-loved Edinburgh landmarks at the time when they were constructed. Spoiler alert: the response wasn’t always positive.
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1. The Balmoral
Ahead of its completion in 1902, heritage watchdog the Cockburn Association were horrified at the scale of the new North British Station Hotel (now The Balmoral) on Princes Street. They would later come to recognise it as a “friendly monster”. Photo: Creative Commons
2. Ross Fountain
When the Ross Fountain was erected, the conservative-minded Dean Ramsay of nearby St John’s Church was vehemently opposed to it. Ramsay labelled the nude figures on the structure as “grossly indencent and disgusting; insulting and offensive to the moral feelings of the community and disgraceful to the city”. Photo: Creative Commons
3. Donaldson's School
When Queen Victoria opened the former Donaldson’s School in 1850, she liked it so much, Her Majesty is reported as having said the building was more impressive than many of her own palaces and that she would have preferred to stay there than at Holyrood. Photo: Creative Commons
4. Edinburgh Castle New Barracks
Upon the completion of the New Barracks block at Edinburgh Castle in the late 18th century, author Walter Scott was not alone in his dislike of the new building, labelling it “vulgar” and “resembling a cotton mill”. Photo: Wikimedia Commons