© All rights reserved. Building Industries 16 August 1920 p73,  

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Arthur
Designation: Architect
Born: 1866
Died: 10 July 1936
Bio Notes: John Arthur was born the son of John Arthur, farmer at Barr, Ayrshire in 1866 and his wife Margaret Donald. He studied at Glasgow School of Art 1896-97 and was articled to John Mercer of Ayr, 1882-89, and moving thereafter to Burnet Son & Campbell and opting to join Campbell on the breakup of that partnership in 1897. He established his own practice in 1900, first with an office in Glasgow (131 West Regent Street, later 164 Bath Street) and then a branch in Kilmarnock (31 Rennie Street), his practice being very much Ayrshire and Renfrewshire-based and concerned with domestic, ecclesiastical, school and estate work. Like the apparently unrelated Airdrie architect, John Maurice Arthur, John Arthur became a Licentiate of the RIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, his proposers being John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects as a body.

Arthur married Elizabeth Smith McMillan. He was remembered in the Burnet office as being very able. His known works are very few but relatively large. He won the competition for Newton Park School, Ayr, but the commission was given to the Ayr architect, H V Eaglesham. He did, however, secure the competition for Marr College at Troon in 1919. Work on the main building did not begin until the late 1920s and the Kilmarnock office does not seem to have been re-opened after the First World War. By the late 1920s he had merged his practice with that of Alan George MacNaughtan as Arthur & MacNaughtan. They won the competition for Glasgow University Students Union with a Burnetian Scots Renaissance design in 1929. Arthur died at 5 Springvale Park, Ayr on 10 July 1936 of a cerebral haemorrhage. At that date Marr College was still incomplete and it fell to MacNaughtan to finish it.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5131, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19001913 
Item 2 of 531, Rennie Street, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1909 *1911 
Item 3 of 5137, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19141919 
Item 4 of 5Northfield, Barassie, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate19201931 
Item 5 of 5164, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19211936(?) 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4John Mercer18821889Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Burnet Son & Campbell18891897Assistantfinally head assistant; joined Campbell when partnership broke up.
Item 3 of 4John Archibald Campbell18971900Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 4Arthur & MacNaughtan1920s1935Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2John Stirling Jarvie1902 or 19031903Assistant 
Item 2 of 2John Wilson Wood1906 Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1John Bennie Wilson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 29 Country Life cottages competition    Won second prize.
Item 2 of 29 Feuing scheme survey, GallanachOban ArgyllScotlandAs assistant to Burnet Son & Campbell (if pre-1897) or to Campbell alone (if post-1897) - date not known
Item 3 of 29 Glebe School  RenfrewshireScotlandDate not known
Item 4 of 29 Hospital, GlengallAyr AyrshireScotlandDate uncertain
Item 5 of 291889Charing Cross Mansions and shops  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Burnet Son & Campbell
Item 6 of 29After 1889Western Infirmary  GlasgowScotlandNurses' pavilion, steam laundry, pathological institute and operating theatre - as assistant to Burnet Son & Campbell
Item 7 of 29After 1890(?)Renfrew Municipal Buildings (Town Hall)Renfrew RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 8 of 291891Athenaeum  GlasgowScotlandExtension facing Buchanan Street - as assistant to Burnet Son & Campbell
Item 9 of 291892Cathedral Court, workmen's housing  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Burnet Son & Campbell
Item 10 of 291894Princes Dock and hydraulic power stationQueen's Dock/Cessnock Dock GlasgowScotlandHydraulic power station - as assistant to Burnet Son & Campbell
Item 11 of 291896Albany Chambers and shopsCharing Cross GlasgowScotlandAs assistant - not known whether he continued to work on this project after Burnet Son & Campbell had split
Item 12 of 291896Black's warehouse  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Burnet Son & Campbell. Reconstruction as R W Forsyth's Store
Item 13 of 291897Darlington Place UP ChurchAyr AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 14 of 291897Dawyck HouseBroughton (near) PeeblesshireScotlandLarge addition - as assistant to John Archibald Campbell
Item 15 of 291898Britannia Assurance Building  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to John Archibald Campbell
Item 16 of 29After 1900Montgreenan Mansion and estate  AyrshireScotlandAdditions and alterations to mansion, and estate work
Item 17 of 291902Newton Park SchoolAyr AyrshireScotlandPlaced first in competition but John Eaglesham got the job as highest placed Ayr architect
Item 18 of 291903Renfrew Parish Church HallsRenfrew RenfrewshireScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 19 of 29c. 1905City Improvement Trust tenements, Cumbernauld Road  GlasgowScotlandPlaced 2nd in competition - in collaboration with Stewart & Paterson
Item 20 of 291908Renfrew High SchoolRenfrew RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 21 of 291913Village HallBarr AyrshireScotland 
Item 22 of 291913Village Institute and LibraryBarr AyrshireScotland 
Item 23 of 291919Local Government Board competition, design for a tenement   ScotlandDesign for tenement exhibited
Item 24 of 291919Local Government Board competition, rural cottage   ScotlandDesign placed first
Item 25 of 291919Marr CollegeTroon AyrshireScotlandWon competition to secure job. Completed in partnership with Alan George McNaughtan
Item 26 of 29c. 1928Marr CollegeTroon AyrshireScotlandCompleted in partnership with Alan George MacNaughtan
Item 27 of 291929University of Glasgow Students Union  GlasgowScotlandWon competition and secured job - With Alan G McNaughton
Item 28 of 291932House for D F NicolBearsden GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 291932Inverness High SchoolInverness Inverness-shireScotlandPlaced second in competition


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Close, Robert1992Ayrshire and Arran, an Illustrated Architectural Guide Edinburgh: RIASBiography

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal8 November 1937v45London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp48 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v16 no1100; also papers of Harry Hubbard (A v24 no2731 (microfilm reel 23) - declaration witnessed by Arthur


© All rights reserved. Building Industries 16 August 1920 p73,  

© All rights reserved. Building Industries 16 August 1920 p73, 'Who's who' (courtesy of Iain Paterson)