In the early 19th Century, Aberdeen was growing and the roads in to the city from the surrounding areas improving. Rich and important people from around the area felt that Aberdeen needed a meeting place for events that wasn’t a tavern or pub. After a public meeting they agreed to raise funds for a ‘County Assembly Rooms’ to be built on the relatively new at the time Union Street. They held a competition to find an architect to design the building. Ten architects from around the UK submitted designs and the winner was a local architect called Archibald Simpson who had already built some of Aberdeen’s finest buildings but entered his design into the competition anonymously. The first foundation stone for the Assembly Rooms was laid in 1820.