William Henry Playfair
|Born||15 May 1790|
|Died||19 March 1857 66) (aged|
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
|Buildings|| National Gallery of Scotland |
Old College, University of Edinburgh
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Royal Scottish Academy Building
William Henry Playfair FRSE (15 July 1790 – 19 March 1857) was a prominent Scottish architect in the 19th century,  [ self-published source ] who designed the Eastern, or Third, New Town and many of Edinburgh's neoclassical landmarks.
Playfair was born on 15 July 1790 in Russell Square, London to Jessie Graham and James Playfair.   His father was also an architect, and his uncles were the mathematician John Playfair and William Playfair, an economist and pioneer of statistical graphics. After his father's death he was sent to Edinburgh be educated by his uncle John Playfair. He went on to study at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1809.  He was first articled to the architect William Stark and when Stark died in 1813, he went to London.
In the 1830s Playfair is listed as living at 17 Great Stuart Street on the prestigious Moray Estate in Edinburgh's West End.  This is not a building of his own design, but is by his rival James Gillespie Graham. 
Playfair joined the Free Church following the Disruption of 1843,  losing his right to burial in the parish churchyard.
Playfair took David Cousin under his wing and was responsible for the latter part of his training.
Playfair was Initiated into Scottish Freemasonry in Lodge St David, No.36, (Edinburgh, Scotland) on 18 January 1815. 
Playfair died in Edinburgh on 19 March 1857, and is buried in the "Lord's Row" on the western wall of Edinburgh's Dean Cemetery, where he designed monuments for others, including Lord Jeffrey.
Two of his finest works are the neoclassical buildings of the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy which are in the centre of Edinburgh. The Playfair Project, completed in 2004, joined the two historic buildings with an underground link. Many of his architectural drawings are held by the University of Edinburgh Heritage Collections. 
John Playfair FRSE, FRS was a Church of Scotland minister, remembered as a scientist and mathematician, and a professor of natural philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He is best known for his book Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth (1802), which summarised the work of James Hutton. It was through this book that Hutton's principle of uniformitarianism, later taken up by Charles Lyell, first reached a wide audience. Playfair's textbook Elements of Geometry made a brief expression of Euclid's parallel postulate known now as Playfair's axiom.
The year 1832 in architecture involved some significant architectural events and new buildings.
Sir John Robert Steell was a Scottish sculptor. He modelled many of the leading figures of Scottish history and culture, and is best known for a number of sculptures displayed in Edinburgh, including the statue of Sir Walter Scott at the base of the Scott Monument.
Thomas Hamilton was a Scottish architect, based in Edinburgh where he designed many of that city's prominent buildings. Born in Glasgow, his works include: the Burns Monument in Alloway; the Royal High School on the south side of Calton Hill ; the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh; the George IV Bridge, which spans the Cowgate; the Dean Orphan Hospital, now the Dean Gallery; the New North Road Free Church, now the Bedlam Theatre; Cumstoun, a private house in Dumfries and Galloway; and the Scottish Political Martyrs' Monument in Old Calton Cemetery, Edinburgh.
The National Monument of Scotland, on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, is Scotland's national memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. It was intended, according to the inscription, to be "A Memorial of the Past and Incentive to the Future Heroism of the Men of Scotland".
Calton Hill is a hill in central Edinburgh, Scotland, situated beyond the east end of Princes Street and included in the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site. Views of, and from, the hill are often used in photographs and paintings of the city.
The City Observatory was an astronomical observatory on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is also known as the Calton Hill Observatory.
The New Town is a central area of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It was built in stages between 1767 and around 1850, and retains much of its original neo-classical and Georgian period architecture. Its best known street is Princes Street, facing Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town across the geological depression of the former Nor Loch. Together with the West End, the New Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside the Old Town in 1995. The area is also famed for the New Town Gardens, a heritage designation since March 2001.
The Dugald Stewart Monument is a memorial to the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753–1828). It is situated on Calton Hill overlooking the city of Edinburgh and was designed by Scottish architect William Henry Playfair.
Archibald Elliot was a Scottish architect based in Edinburgh. He had a very distinctive style, typified by square plans, concealed roofs, crenellated walls and square corner towers. All may be said to derive from the earlier local example of Melville Castle by James Playfair. Many of his works have been demolished.
Regent Terrace is a residential street of 34 classical 3-bay townhouses built on the upper south side of Calton Hill in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Regent Terrace is within the Edinburgh New and Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1995.
The Old Calton Burial Ground is a cemetery in Edinburgh, Scotland. It located at Calton Hill to the north-east of the city centre. The burial ground was opened in 1718, and is the resting place of several notable Scots, including philosopher David Hume, scientist John Playfair, rival publishers William Blackwood and Archibald Constable, and clergyman Dr Robert Candlish. It is also the site of the Political Martyrs' Monument, an obelisk erected to the memory of a number of political reformers, and Scotland's American Civil War Memorial.
Amelia Robertson Hill, birth record Emmilia McDermaid Paton, was a prominent Scottish artist and sculptor throughout the 19th century and one of the few with public commissions. Her most noteworthy works are the statue of David Livingstone in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh and statue of Robert Burns in Dumfries. She was the main female contributor to the statues on the Scott Monument, contributing three figures.
New Calton Burial Ground is a burial ground in Edinburgh. It was built as an overspill and functional replacement to Old Calton Burial Ground and lies half a mile to its east on Regent Road in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the south-east slopes of Calton Hill. On its southern edge it attaches to the north-east edge of the Canongate in the Old Town. It lies on a fairly steep south-facing slope with views to Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament Building and Arthur’s Seat.
Richard and Robert Dickson were brothers, acting as architects in Scotland in the early and mid-19th century. Whilst most of their work is typified by remote country houses they are best known for their magnificent spire on the Tron Kirk in the heart of Edinburgh on the Royal Mile.
Royal Terrace is a grand street in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, on the north side of Calton Hill within the New Town and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1995, built on the south side of a setted street, facing the sloping banks of London Road Gardens, formerly Royal Terrace Gardens, with views looking north towards Leith and the Firth of Forth.
Carlton Terrace is a residential street in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located on the east side of Calton Hill, at the eastern extremity of the New Town, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1995.
London Road Gardens are one of the collection of New Town Gardens located close to the city centre of Edinburgh in the New Town, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1995. They occupy a long strip of land from east to west along the lower northern slope of Calton Hill, with an area of 4.37 hectares. The gardens are notable for their large, old trees including limes and some fine, surviving elms, also spring flowers, particularly daffodils.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Edinburgh:
. Dictionary of National Biography . 1885–1900.