Caird Hall


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Kevy: The Caird Hall, was built between 1914 and 1923 and is named after its benefactor, jute baron James Key Caird. It was designed by the town architect James Travesty II, assisted by Vernon Constable doing the complicated technical bits.

Kevy: What you are looking at right now is basically a massive construction error. The whole building is facing the wrong way. The facade and steps were meant to be south facing, looking out over a long lawn and gardens down to the Royal Arch, to the river Tay and beyond to the Kingdom of Fife. As the first World War raged, plans were thrown into confusion, there wasn’t the proper continuity needed, and at some point the blueprint got flipped over.

Kevy: Also derailed by the Great War were plans for a grand plaza and a tree lined boulevard with a magnificent fountain as a centrepiece near the Royal Arch plus many other majestic buildings including a sizable aviary.

Anna: Straight above the front doors of the Caird Hall is Dundee’s coat of arms. At the top it says Dei Donum, which is where the word Dundee comes from, Dei meaning god and Donum meaning gift. So, Dundee means “God’s Gift”, referring to the River Tay. Then there’s the motto underneath, Prudentia et Candore (Can door ay) which means “with thought and purity”. The three white lilies symbolise the purity and the two dragons symbolise Dundee’s rival football teams, whose stadiums are separated by a single street.