Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Maclaren Soutar Salmond |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||1920 |
|Ended: ||1972 |
|Bio Notes: ||John Turnbull Maclaren was born in Monifieth, Angus on 19 April 1863, the son of James Maclaren, architect, Dundee, and Jemima Margaret Miller. He was sent to an unspecified office in the United States to gain experience, returning to Dundee on his father's death in 1893 to continue the family firm with his brother, George Gordon Maclaren. After George Gordon Maclaren's death on 31 June 1899, John Turnbull Maclaren continued the practice as sole practitioner into the early years of the twentieth century but his American experience was not significantly reflected in the firm's buildings. The more ambitious designs of the later 1890s and early 1900s were known to be the work of Andrew Graham Patrick, born in Perth in 1864. He had been recruited as leading draughtsman from David Smart's office in Perth in 1894. He had attracted the Maclarens' notice by winning an open competition at Port Townsend, USA, but his fiancée had declined to emigrate with him. |
In 1908 Maclaren took Charles Geddes Soutar into partnership, a move which took the practice back into the premier league, the office now being at 10 Reform Street. Soutar was born in 1878 of a Forfar family and apprenticed to Charles & Leslie Ower, 1892-98, latterly working under William Gillespie Lamond by whom he was profoundly influenced. During this period he took classes at Dundee Technical College, latterly under Patrick Hill Thoms who also had a considerable influence on the development of his domestic style. In 1899 following the break-up of the Charles & Leslie Ower partnership he moved to the office of John Murray Robertson to widen his experience, but returned to Leslie Ower in 1900, remaining with him as chief assistant until 1902, from which year he practised on his own account with some success. He remained on good terms with Charles Ower, for whom he designed Aystree in 1903. With his white or cream suits and stylish boating hats, Soutar brought a breath of fresh air to the Maclaren Sons & Soutar practice, which had remained somewhat staid despite the recruitment of Patrick: a staff photograph of around the time of the partnership's formation, now in the RCAHMS, well illustrates the difference between the partners, Maclaren being a portly figure in a sombre city suit.
In 1920 the practice merged with J & F Salmond, a firm of civil engineers, land surveyors and architects based at 6 High Street, the firm now becoming Maclaren Soutar Salmond with John Turnbull Maclaren, Charles Geddes Soutar and William Salmond as partners. In 1921 Maclaren retired and Patrick was taken into partnership, but the name of the firm remained unchanged, the merged practices now moving to 15 South Tay Street.
Maclaren enjoyed a very long retirement, dying at the house he had built for himself, Whinsby, Abercromby Street, Barnhill on 20 March 1948. Although described in his RIAS obituary as 'always easily approachable,' in later years at least he was remembered by the Patrick family as somewhat humourless. He left the then very substantial sum of £75,123, and endowed an RIAS student scholarship.
In 1929 Maclaren Soutar Salmond took over the practice of David Wishart Galloway who had been killed in a motorcycle accident in that year, and for rather more than a decade maintained his office at 2 Market Street, Brechin as a branch, but this was de-merged to A B Roger as an independent practice in the 1940s.
Around 1933 the practice was joined by Thomas Steuart Fothringham, born 5 April 1907, who had been educated at Wellington and had read architecture at Trinity College Cambridge with Ian Gordon Lindsay and R A C Simpson. In the event his association with the practice was relatively short as he inherited the Pourie and Fothringham estates in April 1936 and did not return to the practice after serving as a Major in the Black Watch during the Second World War.
Charles Soutar's interest in the practice did not survive the Second World War either, and without him it went into a gradual decline. Although his practice was not particularly large, Soutar was a prominent figure in Scottish architecture between the wars. He was an outstanding Arts and Crafts architect with wide artistic interests and was remembered by his friends as generous in spirit and of infinite human kindness. Along with his client David Band of Band & Whyte and the schools inspector John Taylor Ewen, he was one of the principal patrons of the Arbroath artist James Waterston Herald. Although a very able designer and a fine draughtsman and watercolourist Patrick was content to take a secondary role in charge of the drawing office, producing beautiful presentation drawings for clients. Soutar became a very active member of the RIBA, and was elected to the Council for 1923-24, 1925-26 and 1935-44, serving as Vice-President from 1939 to 1944. Thomas Forbes Maclennan recalled that at these meetings he remained informal in style to the end, preferring plus fours to a city suit. Soutar moved house to Wheatfields, Forfar in 1941. In 1946 he began to suffer from Alzheimer's disease and had to withdraw from the practice completely. He died on 14 November 1952, leaving £5,166 13s 5d.
Soutar's architect son David did not remain with the practice, preferring to take a civil service job in Aberdeen. The practice was continued by the ageing Andrew Patrick and by William Salmond whose expertise lay chiefly in valuation. The latter was an old-fashioned gentleman of impressive presence, very tall, infinitely courteous and patient, qualities which served him well as the long-serving chairman of the Dundee rent tribunal. After Andrew Patrick died in 1951 the architectural work was in the hands of the practice's middle-aged chief assistant Stuart O Barron who had become a partner on Soutar's retirement. Salmond remained senior partner until his death on 2 March 1956, Barron thereafter becoming sole partner. He took Ian Imlach into partnership c.1970, but it was too late to save the practice, which closed in 1972. At the date of closure very few of the practice drawings had survived. A card index to them compiled by Soutar during the First World War survives at RCAHMS, but gives no indication of what was built anew, what was altered or which were competition drawings that may not have been successful.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|15, South Tay Street, Dundee, Scotland||Business||1920||After 1964|| |
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architectural practice:|
|Dundee Yearbook||1893|| || || ||James Maclaren obituary|
|Municipal Annual||1964||Scottish Municipal Annual||1964-1965|| || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||2 April 1948|| || ||John T Maclaren|
|Dundee Advertiser||July 1899|| || ||George Gordon Maclaren (cutting in NMRS)|
|Dundee Courier and Advertiser||3 March 1956|| || ||Obituary of William Salmond|
|RIAS Quarterly||August 1948||no 73||Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)||John T Maclaren|
|RIAS Quarterly||February 1953||no 91||Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)||Charles G Soutar|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Personal information from William Salmond, William Patrick, James McIntosh Patrick, Ann Patrick, Stuart O Barron, Peter Young and Ian Gordon Lindsay|