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'An object lesson in how not to get things done': Edinburgh's unbuilt 'Opera House', 1960-1975

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    Rights statement: This article has been accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press in the Architectural Heritage, and can be accessed at http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/full/10.3366/arch.2017.0084. 

    Accepted author manuscript, 272 KB, PDF-document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-117
JournalArchitectural Heritage
Issue number1
Early online date1 Oct 2017
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2017


This article examines the proposals of 1960–1975 for a major new theatre in central Edinburgh. Popularly known as the ‘opera house’, the proposed Castle Terrace Theatre (which was never built) was a regular fixture in the local press, with frequent reports of delays, funding crises, architectural debate, and concerns about the designs themselves. It is argued here that the real issue, however, was that, despite claims of an expansive cultural policy, central government funding for such major projects as the ‘opera house’ was less forthcoming than was the case for the many smaller theatres that were successfully built across Scotland and Britain during this period.

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