Edinburgh Today

General Post Office

Photograph by Peter Stubbs  -  August 2002  -  View from the steps of Register House, looking past Steele's statue of the Duke of Wellington, towards North Bridge and the General Post Office.


The Old Building

The General Post Office (GPO) is an impressive building on the corner of North Bridge and Waterloo Place, at the East End of Princes Street. It is almost opposite Register House.

The foundation stone of the building was laid on  October 23, 1861, by Prince Albert.  The building opened on May 7, 1866.  The building was extended in 1891-92 and again in 1907-10.

Unfortunately, since closing in October 1995, the building remained empty and begun to look very shabby.

A New Building

Work has now begun on a 43m reconstruction of the building, due to be completed in December 2004.   It is to be converted into high tech offices with a central atrium and a roof garden.  It will have a glass exterior wall built inside the original facade of the building.

The exterior facade of the building is to be preserved.  This is to be one of Europe's largest ever facade retention projects.

The whole seven-storey interior of the building, extending above and below Waterloo Place, is being removed.  This work to remove the interior of the building started in February 02 and should be completed in May 03.

Edinburgh Evening News  1 March 2003, p.3

Redevelopment proposals:  Edinburgh Evening News, 11 April 2003,  p 14.

Waverley Gate

Progress  -  2003

This project is now known as Waverley Gate, and is being described as "a 65m redevelopment".

 Good progress has been made on removing the contents of the old GPO.   30,000 tons of material have now been removed from the site, leaving just an empty shell of exterior walls from the 1861 building.

Edinburgh Evening News  20 November 2003, p.2

Waverley Gate

Completed  -  2005

The project is now complete, having cost 100m. A new glass building with atrium and rooftop garden has been created within the shell of the original 1866 building.  The stone urns on top of the building, clearly seen in the engraving below, have been missing for many years but have been recreated by the builders.

Engraving from 'Old & New Edinburgh'  -  The General Post Office

The interior of the old building, including more than 30,000 of tonnes of rubble was removed to allow the new building to be constructed.

GPO  -  Building work  -  Removal of interior walls prior to reconstruction  -  April 2003

The new building was designed by architects, Hugh Martin Partnership  and built by Balfour Beatty.  Talks with potential tenants are now underway.

Edinburgh Evening News  11 February 2005 , pp.16-17

Waverley Gate

For Sale or To Let  -  2009

Unfortunately, after spending 100m on the development of Waverley Gate's, Castlemore (Edinburgh) are now in administration and owe 44.7m to  Bank of Scotland and 16.8m to others.

After four years of marketing the building, only one tenant, Microsoft,  has been found.  It has taken a 15-year lease on a small portion of the building.

The administrators are hoping to sell or let the building, but its market value, originally estimated at almost 90m is now believed to be around 25m. 

Edinburgh Evening News  June 11, 2009:  p.11




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