If you backtrack to 24th October 2011 when I posted 3 pictures from around the Cowgate, you'll be able to see many of the buildings that were in these settings in 1970, just before demolition commenced.
The top photo here, taken in the early/mid 70's after demolition, has the area around King Street visible and as you can see, it was turned into a temporary car park before the new construction started.
The picture taken in the Cowgate, if you compare to the October set, you will notice that a huge chunk of the original buildings have disappeared from this location too, and again, a part of it turned into a makeshift car park - you can just make out Wishart Arch poking through in the distance. This image above was captured in September 1984.
Top photo from Gordon C.
Bottom photo by Neale Elder.