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New Face for an Old Friend



You might not recognise this building, but if you're a Eurovision fan you should recognise its name.



Edinburgh's Usher Hall hosted the 17th Eurovision Song Contest, its first and so far only outing to Scotland.  Here it was in 1972 that a puff-sleeved Vicky Leandros took Luxembourg to victory.  The BBC put on a rather lame effort, with a some old Christmas decorations, a prehistoric video screen and a cliched pipes and drums interval.

In the intervening years the Usher Hall continued to be a major venue for numerous events, including concerts for the Edinburgh International Festival. It even became a boxing arena during the Commonwealth Games.  But by the 1980s, time was taking its toll on a building that had  first opened in 1914 thanks to the generosity of whisky magnate, Andrew Usher. So, when plaster started falling from the roof a major refurbishment programme was enacted.

The second phase of that programme is now complete, and includes a new glass wing.



I'm not at all sure about this addition. It's not in keeping with the more traditional facade, and seems to obscure rather than complement the original. I can't say Andrew Usher would have approved.



But much, much more importantly, what would Vicky Leandros have to say about it?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
latestarter
Aug. 17th, 2010 10:08 am (UTC)
Looks like they've forgotten to take the scaffolding down.... unimpressed.
nzguy1
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Ugly..UGLY! It looks as if the grand old building has something to hide. I really do despair of modern architecture.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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