Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||George Beattie |
|Designation: ||Architect, Builder |
|Born: ||1809 or 1810 |
|Died: ||11 June 1872 |
|Bio Notes: ||George Beattie was born in 1810, the son of William Beattie, Senior, wood merchant, sawmiller, and building contractor and his wife Helen Hamilton. Together with his brothers William and Adam, he was taken into partnership in the 1830s under the title of William Beattie & Sons, their yard and houses being on Bread Street, Edinburgh. Of the three brothers William was the timber merchant and sawmiller, Adam the builder, and George the architect. |
On 11 August 1837 William Beattie Senior died aged fifty-four, William Junior then becoming senior partner. In 1843 a further house was acquired at 5 Lothian Road which became George's home and office from 1844. He was presumably in charge of the drawing office from that time although his first recorded works as an architect were workmen's houses in Leith walk and Pleasance in 1851. By the mid-1850s, the Beattie's were collaborating with the Peddie family in opening up Chalmers Street followed by the development of Lauriston Park and Glen street on their own account, William Beattie having moved to Lauriston Place by about 1850.
By 1862 there was a schism in the partnership which was probably related to the return of George's son, William Hamilton Beattie, on the completion of his articles with David Bryce. George Beattie then formed the separate partnership of George Beattie & Son, initially trading only as builders, with a house at 13 Grove Street and an office at number 17. In 1875 the partnership became architects and builders and in 1867 architect, ordained surveyors and valuators, George having obtained appointment as valuator to the City Improvement Trust. The building side of the partnership was then given up with probably healed any breach there may have been with his brothers.
With William Hamilton Beattie's arrival the architecture became more up-market with the Greek revival 16 Princes Street (1864) and a Venetian Gothic warehouse in West Register Street, both for Cowans, the papermakers. The practice achieved national prominence by winning the competition for the huge City Parish poorhouse in 1867, their scheme being submitted under the pseudonym 'Comfort for the Poor and Care for the Ratepayer.' The assessor was David Bryce, which may have helped them win, but their five pavilion scheme with linking corridors was very up-to-date in terms of segregation and probably had strong appeal for the City's Medical Officer, Sir Henry Littlejohn. Within a few years the architectural practice had moved to the more up-market address of 10 George Street with a branch office at 94 Constitution Street in Leith.
In 1870 Beattie began his career as a hotel architect with the reconstruction of the Royal Hotel on Princes Street where he superseded David MacGibbon. Work went on until 1875: it ended in a lawsuit with the client Don R MacGregor but it made his name and resulted in the commission for the original Central Hotel (1873), the Clarendon (1875) and the giant Morningside Hydropathic (1879).
George Beattie died on 11 June 1872, survived by his wife Anne Leitch who lived until 10 February 1898. His son William Hamilton Beattie continued the practice and succeeded him as valuer to the Edinburgh City Improvement Trust.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, builder:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|23, Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private/business(?)||1835||1842||William Beattie & Sons|
|11, 17, 21, 23, Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private/business(?)||1843||1862||William Beattie & Sons|
|5, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private/business||1844||1862||George Beattie's house and office while with William Beattie & Sons|
|15, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private/business(?)||1847||1862|| |
|13, Grove Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1862||1872||George Beattie & Son|
|17, Grove Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business(?)||1862||1872|| |
Employment and Training
|The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect, builder (click on an item to view details):|
| ||Name||Date from||Date to||Position||Notes|
|William Beattie & Sons||Before 1851||Late 1850s||Partner|| |
|George Beattie & Son||c. 1860||1872||Partner|| |
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect, builder:|
|Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory||1868||Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory|| ||London, Wyman|| |
|Post Office Directories|| || || || || |
|Scotlands People Website|| ||Wills & Testaments|| || ||Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills SC70/4/141|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect, builder:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Scotsman||12 July 1872|| || ||p4 - report referring to William taking on his late father's post as valuator to the City Improvement Trust|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect, builder:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|H M Register House||Death Register|| || |
|Melrose UP Church||Managers' Minutes|| || |
|National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)||Register of Sasines|| || |