In Lost Aberdeen, handsomely illustrated and rich in fact and lore, Diane Morgan investigates the history and fate of numerous city buildings which had considerable historic and architectural value, but which now, sadly, are gone.
The initial chapters are an odyssey through the early town, from the Green to the Gallowgate, charting the disappearance of the irreplaceable medieval townscape. Moving on to more modern times the author traces the evolution and gradual erosion of the Granite City, whose stylish yet restrained architecture once brought visitors from all over the world to see an Aberdeen which they recognised and valued as a unique city. She writes of George Street, originally planned as "an elegant entrance to the city" and of Union Street, a marvel of early nineteenth century engineering with stunning symmetry, elegant terracing and memorable shops. There is also a requiem for Archibald Simpsons splendid New Market and the sadly missed Northern Co-operative Society Arcade.
Like other books in Birlinn's "Lost" series, Lost Aberdeen brings about in the reader a mixture of wonder at what once was; of sadness and sometimes anger at what has been lost; and of gratitude that someone has pulled all the threads together to present a picture that would otherwise remain entirely invisible. Many of the buildings may be lost but at least some knowledge of them has not. This is a great book for anyone with an interest in Aberdeen.