Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Scotsman Steps Project

Work to conserve the Scotsman Steps is due to start in September.

Aug 18, 2010

The Scotsman Steps provide a pedestrian link between between the Old Town and Waverley Station. When the building was the head office for The Scotsman newspaper, the steps were a busy access between the print works and the railway station, but their deteriorating condition has been a concern for many years.  The conservation work to the Scotsman Steps Works will include the repair and replacement of stonework, removal of paint, repointing with lime mortar, cleaning glazed brick, the repair and repainting of wrought iron work, a new handrail, improved lighting, repair of internal windows and doors, and new wrought iron gates to enable the steps to be shut over night.

Under the supervision of architects McGregor Bowes the work will be split into two phases, dealing first with the stair tower itself and then the walkway and entrance on North Bridge. This will allow the installation of new piece of art by Turner Award winning artist Martin Creed, which involves covering every step with a layer of marble, each in different colours.

The total cost of the conservation project is expected to be around £304,000, with funding from Edinburgh World Heritage and the City of Edinburgh Council, and is due to complete in March 2011.

History of the Scotsman Steps
In 1898 John Ritchie & Co, the proprietors of The Scotsman newspaper, bought an extensive plot of land on the west side of the North Bridge as a new location for the headquarters of the newspaper. The architects Dunn & Findlay were commissioned to design a complex of buildings for the site including offices, print works and commercial premises. What became known as the Scotsman Steps were an important part of the design, as they gave direct access to the lower levels of the building, and to the newspaper’s own private siding at Waverley Station.

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