PHOTO – The Scotsman Steps, Edinburgh

Shortcut from North Bridge

The Scotsman Steps are open again with 104 different coloured marble steps

Edinburgh’s famous Scotsman Steps have been revamped and a major artwork installed to once again provide a grand public passageway between the city’s Old and New Town.  We’ve missed the handy shortcut from North Bridge to Market Street and are delighted that they’re open again.

Originally built in 1899, as part of the Scotsman building – the steps have undergone a major refurbishment to create an attractive way to get quickly from one level of the city to another as well as creating a unique art destination in its own right. Previously the building looked run down and worse for wear with graffiti on the walls, damage to the stairs and recurring anti-social behaviour.

Now, the City of Edinburgh Council has been working with Edinburgh World Heritage and the Fruitmarket Gallery on a major project to bring the historic steps back to life.

Market Street entrance

Colourful marble

Since 2009, repairs have been carried out, retaining much of the original architecture. The work was carried out with around £250,000 funding from the Council and Edinburgh World Heritage. And the Fruitmarket Gallery also commissioned a Turner-Prize winning Scottish artist, Martin Creed in a £250,000 stunning art project.

The artwork called, Work 1059 is a feast for the eyes – with 104 steps leading from the Scotsman Hotel on North Bridge to Waverley Station and The Fruitmarket Gallery on Market Street. Each step is clad in a different colour of marble. Martin Creed is an artist of international reputation, in 2001; he won the Turner Prize with Work No. 227: The lights going on and off.

It is hoped, that the new refurbishment and artwork will not only improve the condition of the steps and bring in a wow factor but will reduce anti-social behaviour which was once associated with the building.

One more level to North Bridge

View out the windows of Waverley, North Bridge and The Balmoral

Marble detail

A rainbow of colours

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