Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Hunter Crawford
Designation: Architect
Born: 10 August 1865
Died: 11 October 1945
Bio Notes: Alexander Hunter Crawford was born in Edinburgh on 10 August 1865, the son of William Crawford, biscuit-maker. He attended the Edinburgh Institution under Dr Henderson. He was articled in 1881 to John Russell Walker and remained there until 1886 when he moved to London. After a couple of short-term appointments he secured a place in the office of Ralph Selden Wornum in 1887, from whom he moved to the LCC Architects Department for six months early in 1891. In August of that year he commenced practice on his own account at 39 York Place, Edinburgh, designing a large warehouse at Maritime Street in Leith. By the mid 1890s he also had a significant Liverpool practice which was at least partly based on premises for the family biscuit-making firm. It may have been for that reason that in 1898 he entered into partnership with Frank Lewis Worthington Simon, the new practice of Simon & Crawford being based in Simon's office at 36 Hanover Street. At Whitsunday the following year there was a further merger with Rowand Anderson's practice as Anderson, Simon & Crawford. This partnership proved brief, being dissolved in July 1902 as a result of a lawsuit. Simon and Crawford then reverted to their previous partnership name, with an office at 10 Randolph Place.

This partnership proved even briefer. When Simon was admitted FRIBA on 9 June 1902, his proposers were Burnet, Cotton and Huon Arthur Matear of Liverpool, a pupil of James Francis Doyle, with whom he had just formed another partnership. No previous connection between Matear and Simon is known and it may be that Matear was simply seeking a partner to help with the major commission for Holy Trinity Church, Southport, begun in 1903. Crawford retained the Randolph Place office after Simon's departure. He was elected FRIBA in 1903 but the proposers' sheet is missing from his nomination papers. His work was of considerable refinement reflecting his London experience. He was a prominent mason, a member of the Grand Committee and Grand Architect, positions which led to his appointment as architect for the new Freemasons' Hall in 1909.

In November 1912 he formed a partnership with Henry Rochead Williamson, but left the practice in the care of Williamson and appears to have been in Liverpool rebuilding Fairfield Biscuit Works. When Williamson was serving in the First World War the practice was in the care of Henry Francis Kerr at his house at 12 East Claremont Street in 1915: Kerr had previously shared Crawford & Williamson's office at 10 Randolph Place, perhaps with the intention of merging the practices. The partnership with Williamson was resumed in the mid-1920s when the practice reappears at 65 Frederick Street and then at 2 Hill Street 1927-33, and at 21 Hill Street in 1937, but Crawford gradually withdrew from practice to concentrate on both the buildings and the management of the family biscuit firm, and from 1931 until 1945 he lived mainly in London at 21 Avenue Road. He was a friend of the painter Robert Burns whose illustrated books 'Sir Patrick Spens' (1931) and 'Scots Ballads' (1939) were dedicated to him. Robert Scott Morton recalled that he wore specially made suits with specific pockets for his drawing instruments, most memorably a long pocket for a folding twelve-inch rule in his trouser leg. He married twice, his first wife having died; his second wife, Gabrielle Landrin whom he married in 1896, was French. They had two survivng daughters.

He was President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association from 1902-03. Outwith his career and apart from Freemasonry, he was interested in motoring and photography. He served as an officer in the Army Motor Reserve from 1906-10.

Crawford died on 11 October 1945. He left moveable estate of 417,393 16s 4d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6The Nook, Primrose Bank Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate 1945 
Item 2 of 639, York Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessAugust 1891c. 1898 
Item 3 of 616, Rutland Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18991902 
Item 4 of 610, Randolph Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1902c. 1911With Anderson and Simon until July1902 and then with Simon until 1903
Item 5 of 6Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1925 *  
Item 6 of 621, Avenue Road, London, EnglandPrivate19311945 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Employment and Training

Employers

The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 7John Russell Walkerc. 18801885 or 1886Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Ralph Selden Wornum18871890Assistant 
Item 3 of 7London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)Early 1891Before August 1891Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Simon & Crawford18981899Partner 
Item 5 of 7Anderson Simon & Crawford1899July 1902Partner 
Item 6 of 7Simon & CrawfordJuly 19021903Partner 
Item 7 of 7Hunter Crawford & WilliamsonNovember 19121913Partner 

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 3James Thomas Alexander Taylor18941895Assistant 
Item 2 of 3John McIntyreJuly 18951899Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3Sydney Houghton MillerAfter 1907Before 1909Assistant 

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3(Sir) John James Burnet9 June 1902for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Joseph Cotton9 June 1902for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Huon Arthur Matear9 June 1902for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 15George Lennox Beattie3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 2 of 15Alexander Lorne Campbell4 March 1907for Fellowship
Item 3 of 15John Alexander Carfrae27 February 1911for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 15Francis William Deas4 March 1907for Fellowship
Item 5 of 15James Macintyre Henry2 March 1903for Fellowship
Item 6 of 15Alexander Hay Lamont5 March 1906for Associateship
Item 7 of 15Archibald Macpherson3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 8 of 15John McIntyreLate 1910for Licentiateship
Item 9 of 15Thomas Tolmie Paterson2 December 1907for Fellowship
Item 10 of 15John Nichol Scott4 March 1907for Fellowship
Item 11 of 15James Forbes Smithc. February 1911for Licentiateship
Item 12 of 15Henry ('Harry') Ramsay Taylor3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 13 of 15James Thomas Alexander Taylor9 January 1911for Licentiateship
Item 14 of 15John Watson3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 15 of 15William Williamson5 June 1905for Fellowship

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 48 Newton HouseElgin MorayshireScotlandInstructed Scott Morton & Co for interior work - date unknown
Item 2 of 481890Hailes Estate, feuing  EdinburghScotlandFeuing
Item 3 of 481891Warehouse, Maritime StreetLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 481894HousesMorningside EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 481895Revoe Council SchoolBlackpool LancashireEngland 
Item 6 of 481895Terrace of four houses, Primrose Bank Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 481895Villas, 16-18 Primrose Bank RoadTrinity EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 48After 1895Business premises (Crawford's?)  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 9 of 48After 1895Business premises (Crawford's?)Omoa LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 48After 1895Public Commercial OfficeLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 48After 1895Public Commercial Office  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 12 of 48After 1895Tranent UP ChurchTranent East LothianScotland 
Item 13 of 48After 1895William Crawford & Sons Biscuit FactoryLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 481896Design for Free Church    Competition design exhibited
Item 15 of 481897Denton Holme SchoolCarlisle CumberlandEnglandCompetition design, in collaboration with J A Carfrae - placed fifth
Item 16 of 481897District Asylum for Midlothian and PeeblesRoslin/Rosslyn MidlothianScotlandTwo new wings added - Crawford claimed specific responsibility
Item 17 of 481897SchoolPitlochry (near) PerthshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 18 of 481898Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901Kelvingrove GlasgowScotlandCompetition design exhibited - unplaced
Item 19 of 481899Colinton Bank HouseColinton EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 20 of 481899Feuing, Braid Estate  EdinburghScotland 
Item 21 of 481899Feuing, Fettes Estate  EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 481899Freeland House  PerthshireScotlandAdditions - partial remodelling of entrance front
Item 23 of 481899Inchinnan Parish ChurchInchinnan RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 24 of 481899Keir HouseDunblane PerthshireScotlandNew dining room and smoking room and gates of old Lecropt churchyard
Item 25 of 481899Perth Evangelical Union ChurchPerth PerthshireScotlandBegun by Simon alone; completed in partnership
Item 26 of 481899Pollok House, including lodges  GlasgowScotlandAdditions and alterations - porch, kitchen wing and terrace. Glasgow Storey gives details of alterations: The changes included installing electric lighting, a modern kitchen and additional bathrooms with hot and cold running water. Also two new wings constructed. This billiard room is on the principal floor in one of the new wings.
Item 27 of 481899University of St Andrews, St Mary's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandRemodelling of senate room in library
Item 28 of 481900Dalmeny Street Drill HallLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 481900Ecton LodgeInverleith EdinburghScotlandMainly responsible
Item 30 of 481901Pearce Memorial Hall and InstituteGovan GlasgowScotlandExecuted scheme
Item 31 of 481901Villas, 16-18 Primrose Bank RoadTrinity EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 32 of 481902Balmoral CastleBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations and additions including infill of arches on south front (or possibly by Mackenzie). Raising service court on south side. Also other work on estate.
Item 33 of 481902BonnycraigPeebles (near) PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 34 of 481902DunalistairColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 481902Inchinnan Parish Church HallInchinnan RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 36 of 481903HouseColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 37 of 481903HousesMorningside EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 481903North British Rubber Factory, Castle Mills  EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 39 of 481904Murrayfield Parish ChurchMurrayfield EdinburghScotland 
Item 40 of 481905CraigallanTrinity EdinburghScotland 
Item 41 of 481905Large house, Marine RoadDunbar East LothianScotland 
Item 42 of 481907House at CraiglockhartCraiglockhart EdinburghScotland 
Item 43 of 48190841 Fernielaw AvenueColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 44 of 481908Tidings HillBo'ness / Borrowstouness West LothianScotland 
Item 45 of 481909Freemasons' Hall  EdinburghScotlandNew building
Item 46 of 481912FactoryCanonmills EdinburghScotland 
Item 47 of 481925House for Mrs James WrightGreenbank EdinburghScotland 
Item 48 of 481935William Crawford & Sons Biscuit FactoryLeith EdinburghScotlandAdditions?

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder19 October 1945   
Item 2 of 2Scotsman12 October 1945  p4 - short obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSNMRS Manuscripts Acc No 1997/8 Autobiographical notes compiled sometime after 1910.
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Robert Scott Morton and Alastair Service
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v14 p68 no890 (microfilm reel 11)