The Granite Mile: The Story of Aberdeen's Union Street with its spectacular illustrations and expert commentary is one of the most important books to come out of Aberdeen. Union Street is rightly acknowledged as one of the finest thoroughfares in Britain and has seen significant change and development through the ages. For centuries Aberdeen was a cramped, medieval town, but in 1801 the construction of a great viaduct above difficult terrain started the transformation to the elegant modern city we see today. But in the early days Union Street's granite terraces were built to designs so inflexible and costly that lack of income was one cause of Aberdeen's bankruptcy between 1814 and 1825. But by the early twentieth century, Watt & Grant, Falconers, Esslemont & Mackintosh, Andrew Collie, Gordon & Smith, Mitchell & Muil, Ledingham and Kennaway - had set up magnificent shops in Union Street. But now sadly all these are gone, and there is anxious debate over Union Streets decline.