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 Lothian House History

[We are compiling information about the background history of Lothian House, a landmark building in Edinburgh, and would appreciate details or pictures you have to share!]

Lothian House was constructed in 1935, on the site of the Edinburgh end of the old Union Canal, Port Hopetoun (1822-1922). Robert Matthew submitted a scheme for this site which was rejected in 1934. Stewart Kaye’s design was accepted. 

Kaye's original plans included building Lothian House with a large hotel along Morrison Street, but the hotel was never built. Lothian House thus comprised offices with shops at street level with a large cinema complex (the offices were used by the Inland Revenue for many years). It is a ‘5-Storey U-plan monumental building', which occupies the entire street frontage in Lothian Road between Morrison Street and Fountainbridge.

In 1983 Lothian House was modernized, refurbished and the offices were converted into 88 private residential apartments, with a private Leisure Complex in the basement.

Historic Scotland added Lothian House to its Statutory List, with Category B Listed status, on 19th March, 1993. Notable points of interest included unusual Art Deco design features, the decorative panels depicting canal workers, and of course its windows! Lothian House architectural details are on this Historic Scotland site. 

During 2001/2002 the old ‘ABC Cinema’ was demolished. The luxurious ‘Odeon Cinema’ was built on its site, along with a new luxury office building to the rear of Lothian House, which also houses a convenient Sainsbury’s Supermarket!




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