© All rights reserved. Building News 7 February 1890 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Gordon
Designation: Architect
Born: c. 1835
Died: 22 August 1912
Bio Notes: John Gordon was born in Paisley in 1835, the son of John Gordon, a wine merchant's agent, and his wife Jessie Young. In 1853 he was in the office of Black & Salmon as an articled apprentice, but when that partnership was dissolved he remained with James Salmon as principal assistant. Subsequently he moved to the office of William Spence where he worked in the same capacity until he set up practice on his own account some time prior to 1857 when he designed Grove Park Mills.

In his earlier years Gordon was strongly influenced by Alexander Thomson's Romanesque church school and villa designs which he perhaps knew at first hand from Thomson's office. His large commercial buildings in West Nile Street and Renfield Street of 1876 show the influence of Thomson's neo-Greek commercial architecture but the giant Wool Exchange in Basinghall Street, London, his largest project, was elaborately Romanesque with Byzantine touches, a style also adopted at 28-32 St Enoch Square as originally built. His practice was otherwise predominantly industrial.

Gordon married Catherine (Kate) Isabella Graham on 18 January 1870. They went on to have at least five children.

In 'Building Industries' 17 December 1917 (re: alterations to the Alexandra Hotel) Thomas Baird who had been an apprentice 1876-81 was described as having been with the practice for twenty-five years, presumably largely as a partner, though his name was not included in the practice title. Thomas Baird was the son of his sister Ann. That he was a partner is confirmed by their joint names appearing on the Dean of Guild drawings for Strathbungo Public School of 1893-95 but he must have left by 1903. (Gordon's other sister Jane married the architect James Ritchie).

In the latter year one of Gordon's sons, J Graham Gordon, became a partner along with David Woodburn Sturrock as Gordon Son & Sturrock. Sturrock had previously practised independently: born in 1860, he had been articled to David Thomson and had remained with him as an assistant, subsequently spending over five years in Spain, France and Germany before commencing practice on his own account in 1898. Later in the same year, 1903, D Bennet Dobson, a skilful art nouveau designer who had been with the firm since at least 1894, was taken into partnership and his name acknowledged in the practice title as Gordon, Son, Dobson & Sturrock; but that arrangement proved brief, Sturrock withdrawing to continue in independent practice, and the firm became Gordon, Son & Bennet Dobson. Dobson ceased to be a partner in 1907 when he formed the short-lived practice of D Bennet Dobson & Co. The practice continued thereafter as John Gordon & Son, at some point joined by another son, Thomas Baird Gordon, named after Gordon's former chief assistant and partner.

John Gordon finally closed the practice in 1911. He died on 22 August 1912 at Gordonholme, Giffnock, his age given as 77.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1013, Moore Place, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1860 *  
Item 2 of 10145, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1862After 1865 
Item 3 of 10175, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1868After 1870 
Item 4 of 10124, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1873After 1879 
Item 5 of 10134, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1888 *1889 or 1890 
Item 6 of 101, Olrig Terrace, Pollokshields, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1891 *  
Item 7 of 10261, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1895After 1905 
Item 8 of 10745, Shields Road, Govan, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivatec. 1901  
Item 9 of 10209, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1909 or 1910 *  
Item 10 of 10Gordonholme/6, Montgomerie Drive, Giffnock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate1912 *  

* 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 7Black & SalmonBefore 1853c. 1853Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7James Salmon (senior)c. 1853Before 1857Chief Assistant 
Item 3 of 7William SpenceAfter 18541857Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Gordon, Son & Sturrock19031903Partner 
Item 5 of 7Gordon, Son, Dobson & Sturrock1903c. 1904Partner 
Item 6 of 7Gordon, Son & Bennet Dobsonc. 19041907Partner 
Item 7 of 7John Gordon & Son19071911Partner 

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 9John Campbell1872c. 1877Apprentice 
Item 2 of 9Thomas Baird18761881Apprentice 
Item 3 of 9John Campbellc. 1877c. 1880Assistant 
Item 4 of 9Thomas Baird18811887Assistant(?) 
Item 5 of 9Thomas Baird18871901Partner(?) 
Item 6 of 9William Brown Whitie18911893Assistant 
Item 7 of 9David Salmond18911896Apprentice 
Item 8 of 9Alexander Ellis DiackOctober 1892July 1894Assistant 
Item 9 of 9David Bennet DobsonBefore 18941903Assistant(?) 

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 561857Grove Park Mills  GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 561858Baltic Works  GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 561861J & J McIntyre's Powerloom factory, Bell Street  GlasgowScotlandEarlier building--probably by Gordon
Item 4 of 561863OakleighBlairmore ArgyllScotland 
Item 5 of 561866Clyde Works, Baltic Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 561866J & J McIntyre's Powerloom factory, Bell Street  GlasgowScotlandEarlier building--probably by Gordon.
Item 7 of 561867Highfield  GlasgowScotlandPerhaps - or maybe James Salmon - see notes
Item 8 of 56c. 1867Broomward Mill  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 56c. 1870WoodlandsPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 56c. 1875Ravelston, Great Western Road  GlasgowScotlandOriginal house
Item 11 of 561877First Ibrox football stadium  GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 561877Herbertson and Bremner warehouse, workshops and stores  GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 56c. 1877Cleveden  GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 561878Grove Park Mills  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 15 of 56c. 1878104 West Regent Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 56c. 187828-32 St Enoch Square  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 561881The Wool Exchange (Sambrook Court)  LondonEngland 
Item 18 of 561883Primitive Methodist ChurchPollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 561883Tenement, Kenmure StreetPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 56c. 1883Craigmount  GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 561887Westmount, Cleveden Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 561888Savings Bank, Bridge Street  GlasgowScotlandBank formed within lower two floors of existing building
Item 23 of 56c. 1889Hazelbank, Glencairn DrivePollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 24 of 56c. 1889Milverton, Dalziel DrivePollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 25 of 561890Calton School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 56Before 1890Bonanza Bazaar  GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 56Before 1890Kingston Stores, Clarence Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 56Before 1890Kingston Stores, Crookston Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 56Before 1890Kingston Stores, St James Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 56Before 1890Lace FactoryNewmilns AyrshireScotland 
Item 31 of 56Before 1890Regent Flour MillsPartick GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 561891Clifton HallPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 33 of 561892(?)School for Govan School Board  GlasgowScotlandMay not have been involved - information from Alexander E Diack's RIBA nomination papers, which are unclear as to whether he was assisting Clarke & Bell or John Gordon at the time
Item 34 of 561892(?)Warehouse, Argyle Street  GlasgowScotlandMay not have been involved - information from Alexander E Diack's RIBA nomination papers, which are unclear as to whether he was assisting Clarke & Bell or John Gordon at the time
Item 35 of 561893Cement Factory, Weir Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 36 of 561893J & J McIntyre's Powerloom factory, Bell Street  GlasgowScotlandAddition
Item 37 of 561893Strathbungo Public SchoolStrathbungo GlasgowScotlandPresumably involved, as Baird states in his FRIBA papers that he carried out this building with his 'late partner'
Item 38 of 561894Glasgow Savings Bank, Bridgeton CrossBridgeton Cross GlasgowScotlandPerhaps actually D Bennet Dobson as assistant (B of S)
Item 39 of 5618959-11 Hamilton Avenue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 56c. 1895Scotland Street Power Station  GlasgowScotlandHS suggests that D Bennet Dobson (as assistant) was probably responsible for architectural details
Item 41 of 56c. 1895Subway Station, Copeland RoadGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 42 of 56c. 1895Subway Station, Merkland Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 43 of 56c. 1895Subway Station, West Tradeston StreetStation GlasgowScotland 
Item 44 of 561896Grove Park Mills  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 45 of 561897Bridgeton Working Men's Club  GlasgowScotland 
Item 46 of 561897Grove Park Mills  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 47 of 561900Grove Park Mills  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 48 of 561901Miller and Lang Art Publishers Offices  GlasgowScotlandBegun by John Gordon; completed in partnership
Item 49 of 561901Tenements and terraced houses, Dungoyne Street, Barra Street and Crosbie StreetMaryhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 50 of 5619039-21 Crosbie Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 51 of 561903Bonded warehouse, Scotland Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 52 of 561903Miller and Lang's Warehouse  GlasgowScotland 
Item 53 of 561903Tenement and business premises for J & A McArthur  GlasgowScotland 
Item 54 of 561904Buildings in Garscube Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 55 of 561904Riselaw House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 56 of 561905Primitive Methodist Church, Alexandra Parade  GlasgowScotlandMade design - commission lost to Chalmers


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2Sinclair, Fiona1986North, South East and West: a process of banking patronage Charles Rennie Mackintosh newsletter no 44p6-7

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Building NewsFebruary 1890   
Item 2 of 2Quiz24 August 1893   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Courtesy of Nick Gordon, great great grandson of John Gordon's brotherInformation supplied to Dictionary Sent February 2016. Mr Gordon has a document relating to the fact that Gordon's father died intestate in 1864 and his estate was valued in 1871. The executors were John Gordon architect, Jane Gordon wife of James Ritchie architect and Ann Gordon wife of Thomas Baird, book keeper.
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional research and family information from Iain Paterson


© All rights reserved. Building News 7 February 1890 

© All rights reserved. Building News 7 February 1890