Simon Laurie House, which received its current name 2001, was originally built during a redevelopment of some of Moray House's Canongate properties in the 1960s.
Moray House had acquired various properties along the Canongate and by the early sixties was looking at the possibility of redevelopment. Most of the buildings were in a ruinous state.
186 -188 Canongate had been a public house and was a cleared site with remains of some buildings at the rear.
188 -190 Canongate was an old seventeenth century three storey tenement with an attic; it was listed as of local importance (Category B) and acquired from Edinburgh Corporation (1965).
194 -198 Canongate comprised three and four storey tenements with attics and shops on the ground floor; they were listed as of national architectural importance (Category A); 196 was above the Old Playhouse pend.
In 1962 these properties were valued at £1,400.
Because of the original state of these buildings little remains of the original walls and interiors. However, the exterior of the building was constructed in a style sympathetic to other Canongate buildings. It is currently 'B' listed.
To the rear there is an original turret stair, from number 194, with a Latin inscription above the door between the initials AI and IS: 'Jehova dedit hospitam terris caeilica rena dabit', meaning 'God has given comfort to the earth and will give heavenly kingdoms'.
The architect for this development was Mr Dey of Gordon and Dey. It provided staff common rooms, dining facilities and meeting rooms - a 'Staff House'. Building work was completed in 1968. The College received a Civic Trust Award for this project in 1969.
The building was refurbished in 1998/9 to create a Graduate School and Research Base at Holyrood. The architects were Lewis & Hickey DJP.
In 2001 the building was renamed Simon Laurie House.
Material compiled & edited in 2002 by Hugh Perfect and David Starsmeare
This article was published on Feb 11, 2011