Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Wallace Friskin
Designation: Architect
Born: 1889
Died: 6 May 1966
Bio Notes: William Wallace Friskin was born in 1889 and educated at Albert Road School, Pollokshields and Allan Glen's School. In 1905 he was articled to John McKissack & Son, attending the Glasgow School of Architecture at Glasgow & West of Glasgow Technical College and Glasgow School of Art where he won a travelling scholarship (1906-07) and Professor's prize (1908-09). Material seen at his house in 1972 indicated that there was also a link of some kind with Campbell and Hislop, although this is not mentioned in his ARIBA nomination paper. In June 1910 he moved to London to gain experience in the office of Harris & Moodie. From there he moved on 1 January 1911 to that of Arnold Bidlake Mitchell where he worked on designs for a block of flats in Montevideo. He gained an honourable mention in the Soane Medallion competition of 1912, passed the qualifying exam in 1913, and was admitted ARIBA in early 1914, his proposers being Mitchell, John Campbell Turner Murray who had been in McKissack's office, and John Thomson, presumably of Thomson & Sandilands or possibly John Stewart Thomson of Wimbledon. He was awarded the Ashpitel Prize in 1914.

After wartime army service, in 1920, Friskin entered into partnership with William Allan in Dundee as Allan & Friskin, although no previous connection with Dundee is known. His wife Lily was a designer who worked for Thomas Justice & Sons.

After Allan died in December 1945, Friskin practised alone in Castle Street under the same practice title. He was small in stature with close-cropped hair, always very smartly dressed, with a marked tendency to terseness in speech. He was a very able designer in the pre-Worl War II years, particularly skilful in his use of brickwork and refined Art Deco detail. He was for many years chairman of the Governors of Dundee College of Art. He died on 6 May 1966, survived by his widow Lily.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 126, Castle Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1930 or 1931 *After 1950(?) 

* 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 5John McKissack & Son19051910Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Harris & MoodieJune 191031 December 1910Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Campbell & Hislopc. 1910(?) * AssistantLink with this practice - may have been assistant?
Item 4 of 5Arnold Bidlake Mitchell1 January 19111914(?)Assistant 
Item 5 of 5Allan & Friskin1920After 1964Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Arnold Bidlake MitchellEarly 1914for Associateship
Item 2 of 3John Campbell Turner MurrayEarly 1914for Associateship
Item 3 of 3John ThomsonEarly 1914for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5James Hutchon (junior)25 June 1946for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 5William Kinloch9 April 1946for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 5James Meldrum Mitchell11 December 1945for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 5Francis O'Hara9 July 1946For Licientateship
Item 5 of 5James Stratton Paterson15 January 1946for Licentiateship

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 38 Beach HouseCarnoustie AngusScotlandDate unknown
Item 2 of 381919Glasgow Housing competition, Mosspark housing estateMosspark GlasgowScotlandAwarded third premium with Harold Slicer
Item 3 of 381919Glasgow Housing competition, tenements at Coplawhill, layout and plans  GlasgowScotlandAwarded extra premium of 25 with Charles Mitchell
Item 4 of 38After 1920Astoria CinemaLochee DundeeScotlandDate unknown
Item 5 of 381922Craigie Garden Suburb  DundeeScotlandDesigned houses
Item 6 of 381923Club, Kemback Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 7 of 38c. 1925Dronley HouseDronley AngusScotlandHS attribution
Item 8 of 381926Rialto CinemaLochee DundeeScotlandDesigned by Friskin but in partnership
Item 9 of 381926St Mary's RC SchoolLochee DundeeScotlandor 1936?
Item 10 of 381927Broadway Cinema  DundeeScotland 
Item 11 of 381927St Mary's RC Church and PresbyteryLochee DundeeScotlandPlans lodged for additions for Rev Bishop Toner (sp?)
Item 12 of 381927Villas, Adelaide Place  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Allan but in partnership
Item 13 of 381929Lord Roberts workshops and warehouse  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Friskin but in partnership
Item 14 of 381929Rockwell Central School  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Friskin but in partnership
Item 15 of 381929SS Peter and Paul Primary School  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Friskin but in partnership
Item 16 of 381930Cinema, South Row  DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 17 of 381930Empire Cinema  DundeeScotland 
Item 18 of 381931Belmont CastleMeigle PerthshireScotlandConversion to Eventide Home
Item 19 of 381931UF Church  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Allan, according to Friskin
Item 20 of 38September 1932Clock over doorway of shop of William Millar & Sons, grocers and Italian warehouseman  DundeeScotlandModel prepared
Item 21 of 381933St Joseph's RC Schools  DundeeScotlandLarge addition - designed by Friskin but in partnership
Item 22 of 381933Tivoli Cinema  DundeeScotland 
Item 23 of 381934Clement ParkLochee DundeeScotlandNW wing added as a maternity block when the building was used as a Salvation Army hostel.
Item 24 of 381934Concert HallCarnoustie AngusScotlandDesigned hall
Item 25 of 381934St Mary's Church HallLochee DundeeScotlandDesigned by Friskin but in partnership
Item 26 of 38c. 1935Villa, Arnhall Drive  DundeeScotland 
Item 27 of 381936Dundee High School, gymnasium block  DundeeScotlandE side, two storey and basement block
Item 28 of 381936Forty-four houses for Tayport Town CouncilTayport FifeScotland 
Item 29 of 381937Thomas Justice & Sons premises  DundeeScotlandInternal refitting - designed by Friskin in association with his wife
Item 30 of 381950St Vincent's RC Church and HallLinlathen DundeeScotland 
Item 31 of 381951Dundee High School  DundeeScotlandDining Hall
Item 32 of 381952House at PitlochryPitlochry PerthshireScotland 
Item 33 of 381955St James RC ChurchKinross Kinross-shireScotland 
Item 34 of 381956St Columba RC Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 35 of 381959St Mungo's RC Church and PresbyteryAlloa ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 36 of 381961St Pius X RC Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 37 of 381962St Clement's RC Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 38 of 381967Our Lady of Sorrows RC ChurchFintry DundeeScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3RCAHMS1992Dundee on Record RCAHMSp49
Item 2 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

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 A v21 no2462 (microfilm reel 21)