© All rights reserved. Quiz 27 June 1895 (Feature on Industrial Exposition Series and Scottish Fete, Glasgow, 1895) (Courtesy of Iain Paterson) 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Chalmers
Designation: Architect
Born: 1858
Died: 18 May 1927
Bio Notes: James Chalmers was born at 14 Kelvinhaugh Street, Glasgow in 1858, the son of James Chalmers, boot and shoe manufacturer, and his wife Helen McLaren. He commenced practice there c.1882. Information on his early career is lacking, but he seems to have some connection with Alexander George Thomson, and by 1884 his firm had a branch office in Bloomgate, Lanark. He was in partnership with Andrew Robson from 1885 as Chalmers & Robson; this partnership was dissolved by 1889.

Chalmers's practice consisted largely of episcopal church work although he himself was latterly a member of Sherbrooke Church in Pollokshields. Professor William James Smith remembered him as a prominent lay preacher in the early 1900s. Most of his work is in a simple Romanesque idiom similar to that of Peter McGregor Chalmers, to whom he does not seem to have been related.

Chalmers married Jessie Keith McAllan (of Bonhill) on 9 July 1885 at the Cockburn Hotel, Bath Street; they had a daughter, Annie, later Mrs Durrant.

He died of arterio sclerosis at 7 Cromwell Square, Glasgow on 18 May 1927, leaving moveable estate of 417 14s 7d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7113, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 18831885 or 1886 
Item 2 of 7116, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1884 or 1885 *  
Item 3 of 7101, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1886 or 18871889 or 1890 
Item 4 of 79, Leslie Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1887After 1891 
Item 5 of 793, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1895After 1914 
Item 6 of 77, Cromwell Square, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 19201927 
Item 7 of 7209, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1929 or 1930 *  

* 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 1Chalmers & Robson1885Before 1889Partner 

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 4William Shanks18861889Assistant 
Item 2 of 4George Macfie Poole18951895Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Sidney Toy19021904Apprentice(?) 
Item 4 of 4Finlay Bain19061912Assistant 

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 481881Glasgow Municipal Buildings  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - outline plan
Item 2 of 481885Coats Memorial Baptist ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandCompetition design - sent uninvited and not considered in detail
Item 3 of 481885Pettigrew & Stephens Department Store  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building
Item 4 of 481887Grantshouse Free ChurchGrantshouse BerwickshireScotland 
Item 5 of 481889Grain StoreMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 6 of 481891Burgh HallCove DunbartonshireScotlandWon in limited competition and secured job
Item 7 of 481891Kirriemuir Original Secession ChurchKirriemuir AngusScotland 
Item 8 of 481893W K Peden HouseCrosshill GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 481893Western Necropolis, CrematoriumMaryhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 481893Wilton UP ChurchHawick RoxburghshireScotlandThought to have been responsible, in collaboration with James Pearson Alison
Item 11 of 481894Cabinet Works for A Thomson & Son  GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 481895Industrial Exhibition and Scottish Fete  GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 481896Warehouse and Brush Factory for William Morier  GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 481897East End Exhibition Buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 481898Bothwell Circus  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction
Item 16 of 481898South Side Synagogue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 481898St Peter's Episcopal Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 48c. 1898Premises for Wright & Greig  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 481899Technical College, Well Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 481900Ewart Free LibraryDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandPlaced fifth by the assessor
Item 21 of 481900Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901Kelvingrove GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design exhibited
Item 22 of 481901Design for 'the village hall'     
Item 23 of 481901Design for Memorial Tower     
Item 24 of 481901St Gabriel's Episcopal ChurchGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 25 of 481902Belmont HousePollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 481902Carluke Parish ChurchCarluke LanarkshireScotlandChancel added
Item 27 of 481902St Barnabas Episcopal ChurchDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 481903All Saints Episcopal ChurchJordanhill GlasgowScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 29 of 481903Masonic Temple, Abbotsford PlaceGorbals GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 481903Villa for Robert B G Greig  GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 481905Scotstoun West Parish ChurchWhiteinch GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 481906Primitive Methodist Church, Alexandra Parade  GlasgowScotland 
Item 33 of 481907SS Margaret and Mungo Episcopal Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 34 of 481908Grain and Hay storePollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 35 of 481908Oban Episcopal Cathedral of St John the DivineOban ArgyllScotlandDesign selected in limited competiton. (see Dean of Guild - 'erect part of proposed new church' Reredos to his design built
Item 36 of 481908Rectory at Hillington ParkCardonald GlasgowScotland 
Item 37 of 481908St Mungo's Episcopal Church HallAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 38 of 481908Western Gailes Golf ClubhouseGailes AyrshireScotlandInitial building
Item 39 of 481909The Homesteads (Garden Suburb)Stirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 40 of 481910KirklandDunlop AyrshireScotlandReconstructed and enlarged (former manse)
Item 41 of 481911Barassie Garden SuburbBarassie AyrshireScotland 
Item 42 of 481911Double villa for J McGregorBarassie AyrshireScotland 
Item 43 of 481911Lodge St John 187, Newlands Masonic TempleCarluke LanarkshireScotland 
Item 44 of 481911St John's Episcopal ChurchGirvan AyrshireScotlandNew tower (incomplete, intended to have spire)
Item 45 of 481911Villa for Mrs J AndersonBarassie AyrshireScotland 
Item 46 of 481911Villa on Barassie beach for Mr McGregorBarassie AyrshireScotland 
Item 47 of 481913Municipal housing schemeGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 48 of 481922Wellington PalaceGorbals GlasgowScotlandAlterations/rebuilding?


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Aitken, Peter, Cunningham, Cameron and McCutcheon, Bob1984The Homesteads: Stirling's Garden Suburb   
Item 2 of 2Paterson, Iain2001Hillcrest, 26 Wedderlea Drive, Cardonald, Glasgow Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Newsletter, no 80, Spring 2001 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research by Iain Paterson


© All rights reserved. Quiz 27 June 1895 (Feature on Industrial Exposition Series and Scottish Fete, Glasgow, 1895) (Courtesy of Iain Paterson) 

© All rights reserved. Quiz 27 June 1895 (Feature on Industrial Exposition Series and Scottish Fete, Glasgow, 1895) (Courtesy of Iain Paterson)