Located at the east end of George Street it was intended as the mirror of Charlotte Square (designed by Robert Adam) in the west, but due to complications during building they are not completely symmetrical. Today, housing is confined to the northern side, with major banks and insurance companies occupying much of the rest of the Square, making it one of the major financial centres of Europe. The square houses Dundas House, world headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Harvey Nichols department store is located on the east side of the square.
Upon the start of building in 1768, architect James Craig had trouble realising his planned vision for the square. He had intended that St. Andrew's Church to lie on its east side looking along George Street to its twin St. George's on Charlotte Square (laid out from 1792). However, Sir Lawrence Dundas, a wealthy businessman, preferred the site for his home and bought the ground before Craig's plan could be implemented. St. Andrew's Church had to be built part-way along George Street, and its place was taken by Dundas House, built by Sir William Chambers. In the centre of the square is the Melville Monument, in memory of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville.
Famous residents of St. Andrew Square included philosopher David Hume, who lived at No. 8 and politician and inventor Henry Brougham, who lived at No. 21. The oldest house in the square is No. 35, built by Robert Adam. It was the former Douglas Hotel patronised by Sir Walter Scott, Empress Eugenie and Queen Victoria while she consulted Sir James Simpson.