Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

From slums to shops: The original, the old and the new Overgate Centre

Memories of the Overgate's golden years.
Memories of the Overgate's golden years.

With two major re-developments under its wing the Overgate has been transformed from old and dilapidated ‘slums’ in the early 20th century to the glass-fronted centre we know today.

But for many, the ‘original’ Overgate was that of the 1960s and 70s.

The concrete and steel two-level mall was hailed as the first comprehensive town centre development of its kind in Scotland, but its appeal was lost when the Wellgate opened along the road.

We take a closer look at the Overgate and remind ourselves on just how much has changed.

Before the ‘original’ Overgate

Until the 1960s, the Overgate was simply a street which ran from the corner of Reform Street to North Lindsay Street, passing along the north side of St Mary’s Parish Church.

City architect James Thomson proposed the street be cleared in his 1910 city plans after the run down buildings were described as slums.

A similar proposal came in the form of the Adams Plan of 1937, however, due to the outbreak of the Second World War plans weren’t continued.

In the late 1950s work began on the city’s new shopping venue.

Crowds watched on as historic buildings on the Overgate were demolished just feet away.

Menzies & Sons was razed to the ground in February 1957 with locals of all ages getting up close to look at the demolition.

Although the shopping centre wouldn’t be opened for another four years, it didn’t mean the Overgate wasn’t already a hit with shoppers – especially when the market was on with stalls lining the street as can be seen in October 1959.

Work began on the new scheme with a tunnel being dug out to carry cables for essential services through the first phase of the Overgate redevelopment area in May 1963.

The two-storey open air mall

Designed by Ian Burke, Hugh Martin & Partners, the new Overgate was the first of its kind.

The Old Steeple church towered above the new shops which opened in October 1963, perfectly mixing traditional Dundee with the modern day.

The mall had two storeys incorporating a mixed-use development of a hotel and offices to the west and pedestrian areas and shops to the east.

From Littlewoods to Singer and Mr Beaujangle’s, the centre attracted a number of high street chains and independent stores.

The British Relay showroom was opened in September 1965 by popular Scottish comedians Jack Milroy and Rikki Fulton as their iconic act Francie and Josie.

Other shops that took up leases in the 1960s included shoe shop Birrells and sewing legends Singer.

As well as a hotel, shops and offices the new Overgate also incorporated a roof-top car park which could be accessed from Lindsay Street and is seen here, below, alongside the concrete and steel structure and the steeple church in May 1969.

A familiar name to many Dundonians will be Allardyce – this photo below shows the interior of the Charles Allardyce shop in the centre from December 1969.

The family are still providing healthcare in the city more than 50 years on, as Allardyce Healthcare at the West Pitkerro Industrial Estate.

But it wasn’t all about grey, modern architecture – alongside the shop fronts the Overgate was also home to gorgeous greenery.

Floral displays helped brighten up the streetscape in this springtime snapshot.

Below, Dundee was living up to its sunny reputation as folk sit outside the old Littlewoods store in 1970.

For those only familiar with the newest Overgate development the store was located roughly where Primark now sits.

The old Overgate can be seen in its full glory here in June 1970.

From this view you can easily imagine the new Overgate in its place with the open air sides replaced by a full wall of curved glass.

BBC Radio One disc jockey Stuart Henry was crowded by adoring fans as he headed to Dundee to open the new Mr Beaujangle boutique  in November 1973.

A crowd of about 150 fans waited outside 126 Overgate to catch a glimpse of the Scottish heart throb.

Another familiar sight for Dundonians would have been the lottery kiosk in the Overgate.

These punters would have been hoping it was their lucky week as they put their numbers on in July 1978.

By 1978 – after the opening of Dundee’s Wellgate Centre – many of the big name shops jumped ship and the Overgate became run down.

But there were still plenty of stores to tempt customers.

This shopper looks through the exhaustive stock inside the Caird Sports Locker with a number of big brands on offer in June 1980.

Most who are of age to remember the old Overgate are sure to remember the long tunnels which were incorporated into the mall’s design.

The slightly foreboding tunnels were certainly a throwback to 1960s architecture.

A new look to ‘What Everyone Wants’ was officially launched in February 1993 with ribbons and balloons.

Long queues formed in anticipation of the new look being unveiled – two upstairs and one downstairs – with people excited to see what discount goods they could grab.

Of course when shopping ’til you drop, refreshments are always a necessity.

Luckily the staff at Kardomah Coffee Shop were on hand in 1994 to serve parched customers.

It was service with a smile below, from left to right, manageress Jo McDonald, Jane-Anne Dodds, Joanne Bannon, Kelly Archibald, Sheila Strachan and Gillian Oliphant.

The Overgate’s latest development

In 1998 rejuvenation was well under way for the mall with the rebuild effectively bringing attention back to the Overgate.

In a reversal of fortune, many of the top retailers chose the new-look development over the city’s Wellgate, which was now more dated.

Below, a hive of activity can be seen at the rear of the new Overgate Centre in March 2000.

The new Overgate welcomed shoppers for the first Boxing Day sales in December 2000.

The new fully-enclosed centre was likely a welcome relief from the Scottish elements in comparison to its open-air predecessor.

Plans for further extensions to the Overgate in the early noughties were halted by recession.

And so the centre remains as it was in 2000 to this day, although the shops inside have changed many times over the years.