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Plans of Chambers Street development, Edinburgh, 1925-1973

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/7

Scope and Contents

Chambers Street development consists of:

  1. plans: National Library of Scotland feasibility studies, (c1971-1973)
  2. plans: Proposals for the new Museum of Scotland, (1925-1973)
  3. report on the Argyle Brewery Site, (1973)


  • Creation: 1925-1973


Language of Materials

This material is in English

Physical Description

1 file and 5 plan files

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.

Biographical / Historical

Chambers Street, Edinburgh, is dominated by the University of Edinburgh's 18th century Old College building and the Royal Scottish Museum, on its south side. The street was included in the University of Edinburgh/Nicolson Street Comprehensive Development Area on its northern boundary. Chambers Street, together with the adjacent George IV Bridge, featured in several feasibility studies in the 1970s as the government sought to extend both the Museum and the National Library of Scotland (NLS). The Ministry of Public Buildings and Works produced an unexecuted scheme to extend the Museum in 1970, with another drafted by the Department of the Environment, in 1973. A competition-winning design for the Museum extension, by Benson & Forsyth, was finally completed in 2000. The removal of Heriot-Watt University to a new campus left its old Chambers Street building vacant. It was first considered for use by the University of Edinburgh and then by the NLS, with a feasibility study produced by the Department of the Environment and Plowman, Craven & Associates (1973) before it was ultimately taken over by the Crown Office as its headquarters. The NLS extension was finally built behind the existing building (1999-2001). Since 1926 the University has occupied Minto House, which is flanked by the Heriot-Watt building and an entrance to the Argyll Brewery site. The University of Edinburgh acquired the brewery in 1972 and Ian G Lindsay & Partners undertook feasibility studies. In 1975, the Departments of Architecture, Urban Design & Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture moved into premises comprising Minto House and the brewery maltings, which had been converted for the purpose by Ian G Lindsay & Partners. Another part of the brewery site, in the Cowgate, was redeveloped for student accommodation in the 1990s, and the ancient Tailor's Hall sold to a private developer.


From the undefined: 3 metres

Physical Description

1 file and 5 plan files

Archivist's Note


Sarah Higgins 1 December 2003

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379