Photos:    Theatre Royal and The General Post Office

 

Theatre Royal

and

General Post Office

The Theatre Royal

The General Post Office was built at the Northern end of North Bridge, on  Shakespeare Square, which previously housed the Theatre Royal.

In his book, Edinburgh in old picture postcards, Donald Lindgren writes of the Theatre Royal:

Behind the facade was a barn-like structure described by one writer as 'a blot upon the most important and crowded thoroughfare in Edinburgh.' 

The Theatre Royal operated from many different sites around the City. 

It opened on site close to the top of Broughton Street, beside St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in 1853,finally closing in 1946, following its destruction by fire.  This site has been the home of four theatres since 1853, all of which have burnt down.

The General Post Office

The foundation stone of the General Post Office was laid by Prince Albert on 23 October 1861, the year that Edinburgh Photographic Society was established.  The building was completed four years later.

The General Post Office was built in an Italian style at a cost of 120,000.

What Next?

The building remained in use as Edinburgh's main post office until 1994.  It has since remained empty and in deteriorating condition.

Plans to convert the building to a five-star hotel did not materialise.  It was then considered as a possible new home for council staff.  

However, work is about to begin, in May 2002, to completely replace the interior of the building and create offices with a rooftop garden, incorporating the rooftop urns from the original building.  The work is due to be completed by 2004.

 

 

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