What Might Have Been

21 February

A fascinating exhibition looking at past plans for the Granite City is being held at Aberdeen Maritime Museum.

The exhibition looks at historic proposals from the 18th and 19th century which never came to pass.

The 19th century brought with it the greatest expansion the city had ever seen and also the time when Aberdeen became the Granite City.

Great architects such as Archibald Simpson and John Smith planned out a radically different city from the old wood and sandstone buildings of earlier centuries.

The exhibition draws on the unparalleled collections of Aberdeen Art Gallery and museums and the city archives to present several different views of how different the city could have been if these plans had come to fruition.

One plan in the 1850s was to drive a railway line through the links, but this was successfully resisted by the people and politicians of Aberdeen who wanted to preserve the links as an area for recreation and sports.

Other plans included visions for Union Terrace Gardens and a proposal to divert the River Dee through the Bay of Nigg.


Council historian Chris Croly said: "These plans show us a city that we partially recognise but which is sufficiently different to seem really strange.

"For example if the Dee had been diverted to run through the Bay of Nigg there would be no need for Victoria Bridge because Torry would have physically been part of the city centre.

"I hope people enjoy this chance to see these plans which are rarely on display."

The exhibition runs until 11 June.