Thursday, 24 January 2008

News Flash - St James Centre is an eye sore!

12 days to go to Planning Committee

Jings, crivvens and help ma boab - a news flash that took 40 years to reach us! St James Centre is an eyesore! Poor thing hasn't even reached it's 40th birthday and so monstously condemned and put on the shelf. Modern 1970s shopping doesn't suit anymore. More hotels to be built, more arcades, more of everything really. St James Centre was seen as essential to the development of modern Edinburgh in the 70s. Up until the 60s St James Square. Leith St and Greenside was a residential and busy shopping area but they were no longer seen as modern and were deemed "slums" so were knocked down to build the "brutish" St James Centre. Will Caltongate be called that one day. Will anyone care that we tried our very best not to allow the Canongate to become a 2nd rate 21st Century St James Centre?

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Check out what St James Centre looked like before the wrecking ball here

And what guess who - yes Allan Murray is to be the architect and wants to build across the road too here

Are memories so short, are lessons never learnt? The cooncil's bammers, sorry I meant planners are recommending to pass ALL of the developers Planning Applications for Caltongate.

From the Evening News today
Replacement for St James eyesore unveiled in £850m galleria vision
IT HAS been derided as an eyesore by conservationists, shoppers and architects since it was built in 1973.
Now, the St James centre in Edinburgh has revealed proposals for an £850 million transformation in what could be come the biggest city centre development for decades. Plans unveiled yesterday include a public square, roof-top garden, two hotels, shops, luxury flats and new streets.The original building, an example of "brutalist architecture", would be demolished to make way for a three-storey, crescent-shaped arcade.The ambitious plans, which could be completed by 2015, were welcomed last night by conservationists. Moira Tasker, director of the Cockburn Association, said: "It is an opportunity to rectify the mistakes of the past and create a legacy this generation can be proud of." Sebastian Tombs , chief executive of Architecture and Design Scotland, a body set up to champion good architecture, said: "The skyline is a very important aspect in thinking about the cityscape. "Now is the time to be thinking quite boldly, asking questions and exploring all the issues."However, Dr Miles Glendinning, of Docomomo Scotland, a pressure group that fights to preserve 20th-century buildings, said the plans would be "unforgivable" and quickly become out of date. But he conceded: "There is such a consensus among civic opinion that this postwar building should go that it would be impracticable and implausible to put up a fight to save it."His comments came on the first day of an eight-week public consultation on plans by the centre's owner, developer Henderson Global Investors, to demolish the existing centre.The centrepiece of the proposed St James Quarter in the heart of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site would be a crescent-shaped, glass-roofed multi-level galleria, inspired by the 19th-century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The arcade will sweep from fashionable Multrees Walk to the centre's current Princes Street entrance.The John Lewis store alone, of all the current 50 retail outlets, would not be demolished but the other shops could be housed within the galleria.Chris Pyne, senior portfolio manager at Henderson Global Investors, said: "This redevelopment will provide a major boost to retail in the heart of the Scottish capital. We recognise the significant public interest in the St James area, and the importance it holds for … the city."Continental-style shopping - complete with roof gardenTHE new St James Quarter could replace the existing St James shopping centre.• At the heart of the proposed development is a crescent-shaped, glass-roofed, multi-level galleria with public-access roof garden. Existing shops, except John Lewis which will stay where it is, could move there.• Three
distinctive new buildings adjoining the galleria will house cafés and restaurants on their lower floors.• A series of continental-style public squares will be included to encourage shoppers to walk through the quarter from different directions.• The venture will involve the creation of a new street from Multrees Walk to the entrance to the present shopping centre in Princes Street. The crescent shape reflects the design of streets in the New Town.• There will be two hotels, one of them five-star. The Thistle Hotel may be the second one.• There will be office suites and the potential for a number of new homes on the galleria's upper levels.• There will be a cultural hub – an independent cinema, art gallery or festival venue.• A new public square, lined with cafés, restaurants and a hotel, is proposed for the area around St Mary's Cathedral.