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Petitioning Colegrave House, 70 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NL Arcadia group (Colegrave House, 70 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NL)

Reinstate the R W Forsyth sphere

The R W Forsyth sphere has been a landmark feature of the Princes Street skyline in Edinburgh for well over a century.

R W Forsyth was a prominent Edinburgh department store which traded from 1906 until 1981. The building itself was designed by acclaimed architect J.J. Burnet and is a unique and fine example of Edwardian baroque in Edinburgh. R W Forsyth's Edinburgh store was also the first fully steel framed structure in Scotland. For over a century the building was topped by a gilded armillary sphere.

The armillary sphere was removed on 4 March 2012 by the Arcadia Group. While it required repair, no permission was sought through either City of Edinburgh Council or Historic Environment Scotland to remove the sphere. As a result Arcadia Group were in blatant breach of planning controls relating to a listed building.

The sphere is an integral feature of this beautiful Category A listed building. Designed by Gilbert Bayes, known for his work with the Royal Doulton Company and creating The Queen of Time at Selfridges in London, this intricate steel sphere displays the signs of the zodiac flanked by cherubic figures.

The repairs were set to take just six weeks, but 4 years have now passed since the iconic sphere's removal. The former R W Forsyth department store stands within the Edinburgh World Heritage Site. As mentioned, the sphere was removed without proper consent.

We urge that the custodians of the former R W Forsyth building, Arcadia Group, respect Edinburgh's civic heritage and reinstate the sphere.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Colegrave House, 70 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NL
    Arcadia group (Colegrave House, 70 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NL)


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