Online talk to reveal secrets of two impressive Inverness buildings

CONSERVATION architect Calum Maclean will present an online talk on Thursday covering two of the most historic buildings in the Highland capital – the former Inverness Royal Academy and the Rose Street Foundry.

Both buildings were designed by the Ross & Macbeth architecture practice.

The talk has been organised by the Inverness Townscape Heritage Project and Workshop & Artists’ Studio Provision Scotland (Wasps), which is turning the former school – which more recently served as Inverness College’s Midmills campus – into the Inverness Creative Academy, a space for artists and designers.

Zoom and the Inverness Creative Academy’s Facebook page will be used to host the hour-long talk, which is due to begin at 3pm.

Maclean, who owns architecture practice practice MAAC Studio and is launching his new book, The Architecture of Inverness, said: “Alexander Ross is one of the Highland’s one most celebrated architects.

“Inverness expanded dramatically during the Victorian period and Ross was responsible for designing many of our most important streets and buildings including Inverness Cathedral.

“In 1887 he entered into a long-running partnership with his then assistant Robert John Macbeth, creating the Ross & Macbeth practice.

“I’m looking forward to sharing details of their iconic work during this talk and bringing the beauty of their work to people at home.”

Inverness Royal Academy in 1895 (Andrew Paterson Collection)

Audrey Carlin, chief executive officer at Wasps Studios, said: “This talk is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the long and colourful history of two of Inverness’ most iconic buildings.

“Wasps is thrilled to be bringing the ‘Midmills’ buildings back to life as Inverness Creative Academy, looking forward to a vibrant future as the Highlands’ first major creative hub.”

Councillor Jimmy Gray, chairman of the Inverness Townscape Heritage Project, added: “Recently I have been doing a great deal of walking around Inverness Old Town centre and looking up at some of the beautiful buildings we have.

“I’d encourage others to do the same and this talk is a great opportunity to learn about the Rose Street Foundry and Midmills campus.

“I’m particularly looking forward to the long-awaited reopening of the Rose Street Foundry following extensive refurbishment, which has been delayed by the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

“I’m sure this talk will only add to the anticipation and have us all desperate to visit when it opens.”

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