These 21 incredible images show how Edinburgh looked before the St James Centre
As work on the £1bn new St James complex in Edinburgh gathers pace, we peel back the layers of time to lift the lid on the area as it looked before the high street retailers and global shopping brands moved in, when it was still among the most densely-populated urban areas in all of Scotland.
Hundreds of families would be displaced when streets laced with ageing and often dilapidated tenements crashed to the ground under the weight of the wrecking ball to make way for a bus station (1956), followed by the St James Centre (1973) and the Omni Centre (2001), over the course of four decades. Here is a snapshot of what we lost to progress.
1. Aerial view of Leith Street, 1949
The gentle sloping curve of old Leith Street as viewed from the clocktower of the North British Hotel in the late 1940s.