The Abandoned Lighthouse
The Liminal Experience of Ruins
Summary: Ruins can play a particularly poignant role in modern capitalist society, and exist in a liminal, marginal state between the past and the future. Western Harbour Lighthouse in Leith, Edinburgh is an example of this kind of ruin, separated from the rest of the city by a physical and metaphorical boundary. Ruins also have affective presence, inciting a particular feeling in those who enter. This essay explores how the liminal status of the Lighthouse disrupts the usual ‘order’ of the modern city.