Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25669 73974
325669, 673974


J J Burnet, 1906-7; W bay Burnet, Son & Dick, 1923-5. 6-storey with corner tower Free-style Renaissance steel-framed former department store. Polished cream sandstone ashlar. Shop windows at ground and marble Ionic columns at 1st floor, framed by flat proscenium arch. Channelled rustication at 2nd floor with consoled band above. Giant Ionic columns to 3rd and 4th floors with windows running through both floors between. Projecting cornice with balustraded parapet to eaves gallery at 5th floor with term figures by W Birnie Rhind and W Reid Dick.

Corner tower with Mannerist aedicules at 2nd floor, simpler aedicules at 5th floor, and balustraded parapet with urns; octagonal cupola with pyramidal roof surmounted by gilded openwork sphere by Gilbert Bayes.

5 bays to Princes Street, that to W echoing corner tower. 3 bays to South St Andrews Street.

Rear elevation of white glazed brick, with flying link to 3 St Andrews Square (see separate listing); sandstone ashlar, dated 1925, with broken pedimented aedicule.

Timber multi-pane casement windows.

INTERIOR: surprisingly intact despite conversion to modern retail premises. Alabaster Ionic columns at ground as backdrop to magnificent scale and platt stair (now with lift in well). Panelled square Forsyth?s columns and trabeated ceilings throughout interior; many light fittings and details, especially to cafe at 5th floor.

Statement of Special Interest

Built as R W Forsyth's flagship store. It was the first fully steel-framed building in Scotland, and showed a very early use of glazed brick. The steelwork was supplied by Redpath Brown, and erected by Ferguson & Co of Glasgow. Nos 31 and 32 Princes Street were built by George Washington Browne in 1891 for Messrs Redfern, and Burnet apparently greatly regretted having to demolish this building. Forsyth's closed in the 1970s, and the building was sold to the Burton Group.




25 December 1907. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) pp310-311. NMRS photographs.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 26/02/2024 17:09