Here are some pictures of the demolition of the unloved St James Centre at the top of Leith Street.  Built the end of the 1960s, it was always more Altamont than Woodstock, nobody seemed to have a good word for it.

St James Centre demolition - Altamont or Edinburgh?

Toward the left of this picture was where the HMV Shop was.  It was so small it had no staffroom and so staff used to be given an allowance to go out and buy lunch.  Even into the 1990s it had the highest takings per square foot of any store in the chain.

Demolition of St James Centre - the old HMV

Demolition in Edinburgh - The King James hotel pleading stop

The King James hotel seems to be pleading…

St James Centre demolition Edinburgh

I worked in “the Centre” for a couple of years and it was indeed a joyless bunker from the outside.  But I once got an almost complete catalogue of Graham Central Station albums from one of the frequent sales of US cut-outs in the aforementioned HMV.

As seen below, there is no restraint in building the new hotel/retail complex which will replace the old centre.  It doesn’t look too much like an improvement on the red-headed stepchild it replaces so far.

St James Centre building work

Here is an artist’s impression of what “Edinburgh St James” should eventually look like, with the new hotel complex on the left, the design of which is reminding people of either an unpeeling orange, an unspooling tape or what dog owners might find in tightly coiled piles on the lawn.

Edinburgh, the new St James Centre - artist's impression

2 thoughts on “Unloved

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