Built in the 1820's, the Adria House gives the discerning guest an opportunity to live in a property forming part of the city's "New Town". Visitors from around the world come to admire Edinburgh's rich Georgian New Town heritage of outstanding and elegant streets, squares and terraces offering some of the finest examples of urban architecture in Europe.
Royal Terrace was also once nick-named "Whisky Row" after the rich merchant families once resident here who bought the then new properties and from the upper floors could view their ships return to Leith from trading trips.
The Adria House is a 200 year old mid-terraced building situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once a fashionable society house.
Today the Adria still embodies much of the original Georgian features, architecture and decorative elegance associated with the period found within the New Town.
The cobbled Royal Terrace is the longest continuous terrace in the New Town. The houses are only built on one side of the street and there is a generous amount of open space with private gardens to the rear of the property and a treelined park at the front.
Royal Terrace forms part of the "Calton Hill Scheme" of 1811. This phase of the New Town between Edinburgh and Leith was to out-do the splendours of Princes Street. It was planned as the "grandest street in the Calton New Town," and is named in general complement to George III and the Prince Regent (the future George IV).
William Playfair (1789 - 1857) was the son of James Playfair, architect. He studied at Edinburgh University and under William Stark, architect in Glasgow. In 1816, aged 26, he was asked to complete the design of the University started by Robert Adam. Subsequently he designed numerous buildings in Edinburgh including the Observatory on Calton Hill (1818), Gateway to George Heriot's School (1819), the Royal Scottish Academy (1822), St Stephens Church (1826), the Surgeons Hall (1829), Dugalld Stewart's Monument on Calton Hill (1831), Donaldson's Hospital (1842), and the National Gallery on the Mound (1850).
It has been observed that it was to Playfair's buildings, more than to those of any other architect that Edinburgh became known as "The Athens of the North".
After a competition advertised in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1811, 32 plan being received, the Commissioner appointed William H. Playfair in 1818 as an "Architect of eminence and taste" to make out a plan "suited to the varied and picturesque state of the ground". His plans, produced in April 1819 were accepted in providing a "happy union of foliage and building".
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