Ushering in a new era
I admit my first reaction to the new wing of the Usher Hall was to let out a gasp.
And not in a good way.
On a winter's night, picking my way though the labyrinth of road closures outside, it's hard to get a clear view of the overall building and the glass wing at close quarters looks strangely at odds with the circular sweep of the original stone hall.
But returning earlier this week, on a bright sunny day - I got a fairer view.
And while still unconvinced by the outside, I have to say the inside (which opens to the public tomorrow) is stunning.
As well as offering new space, a café bar and box office, education rooms and a function suite, not to mention, the chance for all staff to be on site for the first time in decades, it also offers a fine view of the original, as the new building echoes its lines.
There are new lifts and a stunning staircase with a light installation (only a matter of time before the first photographer asks an orchestra to pose over its banisters) and much needed basics - such as additional toilets.
But the whole project has been somewhat overshadowed by the cost and time involved.
It's been more than 14 years since a falling piece of masonry in the auditorium highlighted the need for an urgent overhaul.
That took three years and cost more than £10m.
This latest phase has been held up by grant applications and unexpected rock formations (unsurprising, surely, so close to the volcanic plug of Edinburgh Rock) and costs have risen from the initial £10m estimate to the current £25m bill (which is still subject to confirmation).
On top of that, the landscaping outside - a further £3.95m - won't be finished for another few months, making the whole area not just a mess, but less than accessible for everyone.
Has it been worth it? Well the Usher Hall, like any old venue, wasn't built for modern concerts.
The changes are important not just for the comfort of the audiences but for the future of the hall, which has to compete with other more modern venues.
Cafe bars and hospitality suites, while seemingly unimportant in the great scheme of things, are an important source of revenue.
And if the landscaping works as intended, it should unite the whole cultural quarter, offering a boost to the Traverse and the Lyceum, as well as the Usher Hall itself.
It's also been difficult for our homegrown orchestras - both the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra have had to be compensated for the fact they couldn't open their seasons here last year - although the Usher Hall insists both have recovered their audiences and are looking at increased sales for their forthcoming concerts.
And all those involved with this epic building project are anxious that they stage an opening gala which is just as epic (although not as epic as the campaign to build the place in the first instance, which took 20 years!).
And it doesn't come more epic than the Houston Symphony playing Holst's The Planets, alongside images of the real planets transmitted from space via the Hubble Telescope.
Edinburgh City Council will be hoping for "out of this world" headlines. And keeping their fingers crossed, it's not "Houston, we have a problem."