Work to restore an A-listed Aberdeen landmark to its former glory could begin in the summer.
Westburn House was built by Aberdeen’s famous architect Archibald Simpson and has lain derelict for more than 20 years.
The Save Westburn House group set out its vision for the derelict structure at an exhibition at Robert Gordon University yesterday.
It used the showcase to display its own plans for the project as well as the history of the former residence, which sits in the centre of Westburn Park.
Heritage experts also explained the reasons for the scheme and the best way to successfully turn the decrepit building into a cafe, community space and museum dedicated to the life of Archibald Simpson.
Save Westburn House hopes to raise £300,000 to help complete the restoration and believes the bid to reverse the house’s fortunes could begin at the end of spring or start of summer.
The project has been split into three different parts – phase one is stopping the decay, phase two is the restoration of the building and phase three is opening it up for visitors.
The group is trying to take on ownership from the city council and also secure charitable status.
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Gavin Esslemont, founder and chairman of Save Westburn House, said the first major project will be getting inside the building and checking what damage has been caused by the crumbling roof.
He hopes to get things moving within a matter of months.
Mr Esslemont said: “We need to work with architects to weed out anything that is in a pile in the basement and make sure we retain anything of interest for Westburn House.
“Little bits of cornicing or door panels – all that is really important to be able to recreate the building the way it was when it was designed by Archibald Simpson.
“Our objective is to put it back to the way it was in 1901.
“That is phase one of our plan and we hope to commence in May or June this year, subject to funding.
“Once we get that done, by October or November we will try to secure funding for phase two, which is the actual restoration.”
Westburn House was built as a private home for David Chalmers in 1839 and was originally part of the 22-acre Westburn Estate.
The city council bought it in 1901 and the house was used as a refreshments room.
Mr Esslemont said yesterday’s exhibition at RGU’s Garthdee campus was a good chance to boost the project.
He said the group also wants people with experience of heritage and other building projects to join the cause.
“We need to get professionals on board and actually help us, like architects and structural engineers,” Mr Esslemont added.
“If we can get anything for free, we can actually give back to them somehow. We need to keep communicating to say to people this is what we are doing.
“That is why forums like this exhibition are important.
“This event is essentially a formal launch and fundraiser to make people aware of what we are doing.”