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Architecture: The slow ruin of Edinburgh

The planting of a "Golden Turd" in the heart of the city reveals grotesquely skewed planning priorities

By Owen Hatherley   April 2017

View of Edinburgh's Old Town from Calton Hill ©RobertHarding/Alamy Stock Photo

If you go down to the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, and turn left onto Leith Street, you’ll find a very worn 1960s building at the centre of a construction site. The building in question—the St James Centre, a widely disliked shopping and hotel complex—is being gradually demolished in favour of something you can see depicted on the hoardings in front of you: a routine glass and stone-cladding mall, around a new hotel which is wrapped…

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