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10 cool facts you may not know about Dundee's multis

Dundee's multis have been a staple of its culture over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, and although the majority of them are now gone, they have left a lasting impact on the city. Dundee Culture looks at ten cool facts that you may not know about the Dundee multis.

The first multi was built in 1870

Dundee's first skyscraper, built in 1870 and standing 102 feet tall, was known as The High Land. Located at the corner of Larch Street and Urquhart Street, it was constructed to house workers from a nearby jute mill. It contained approximately 155 apartments and initially accommodated 500 people.

Multis were seen as a solution to Dundee’s housing issues

Although the first "multi" was constructed decades prior, the majority of Dundee's multis were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, during a period when high-rise living was seen as a solution to overcrowded tenements and poor housing conditions.

They were built on the sites of old tenement blocks

Many of the multis were built on the sites of demolished Victorian and Edwardian tenements, which were considered substandard and unsanitary by mid-20th-century standards.

Many of the multis had unique names

Many of Dundee's multis had unique names, often reflecting local heritage or geographical features, such as Dallfield Court, Elders Court, Downfield Court and Ancrum Court. Some streets in the areas of where multis once stood are named after some of the multis that used to stand in its place.

Each multi complex varied in size

The height of the multis varied, with some standing at 10 storeys while others reached up to 20 storeys, making them some of the tallest residential buildings in the city at the time.

The Derby Street multis were the tallest buildings in Dundee

The Derby Street multis were constructed in the early 1970s and were the tallest buildings in Dundee, standing at 22-storeys each.

Dudhope Court is now the tallest multi in Dundee

Dudhope Court, a Lochee multi which is a 16-storey tower block with 92 flats, was built in 1967, and is not only the now the tallest multi in Dundee, it is currently the tallest inhabited building in the city.

There were once 44 multis in Dundee, now only 11 remain

Not all of Dundee's multis have been demolished. Some, like those in the Lochee and Hilltown areas, remain standing and have been refurbished to meet modern housing standards. At it's height, there were 44 multis in Dundee, now there are just 11 left. The Alexander Street multis were the last to be demolished in July 2011.

The multis created tight-knit communities

The multis housed thousands of residents over the decades, creating tight-knit communities. The demolition and redevelopment efforts have had significant social impacts, including displacement and community fragmentation.

The Ardler multis were the source of an urban legend

The Ardler multis were notable for being the source of an urban legend that there was a "hairy hand" that lurked the hallways of the multis. It was said that it could be seen from some of the windows in one of the blocks. Many kids who lived in the Ardler multis at the time were frightened, but some theories have since been debunked that it might have just been a broom or a mop!


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