The plan to restore Adam Smith's old home in Edinburgh, Panmure House, is now getting underway in earnest. The only one of Smith's lifetime homes still standing, he resided there for the last nine years of his life, and held literary salons every Sunday when he would invite some of the leading intellectuals of the Scottish Enlightenment round to discuss ideas. Now the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot Watt University has bought the house to save it for future generations, and return to this tradition, creating an elegant space for meetings, debates and the arts.
It is not an easy job. It has taken three years (!) to get planning approval for the restoration. And sadly, this fine eighteenth-century townhouse is in a dangerous condition, reduced to a sorry state by three decades of local-authority occupation, as these pictures of the inside show. When restored, the same rooms (also pictured) will be quite magnificent. Work starts in March.
This week a fundraising panel at the Edinburgh Business School started work on raising the £5m needed to restore the house and keep it running, in use and indeed loved. If you would like to help this effort – or indeed contribute financially to the work of breathing life into Adam Smith's too-long-neglected home, do let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.