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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John McLean (or Maclean) Crawford
Designation: Architect
Born: 1854
Died: 1950
Bio Notes: John McLean Crawford, who signed his name thus but was generally referred to by others as John Maclean Crawford, was born in 1854 in Parliamentary Road, Glasgow, the son of John Crawford, sculptor (who died aged 30 on 11 February 1861). Educated at Hamilton Academy, he was apprenticed in 1872 to John Burnet senior who had commissioned his father to do the figures of Hope on the Seaman's Chapel and figures on the Bank of Scotland at Carlton Place and Bridge Street (he also did the sculpture on McIntyre's corner at The Cross). Thereafter the younger Crawford spent some time in London with Sir George Gilbert Scott, Sir Arthur Blomfield and William Flockhart followed by a period in the office of Charles Lynam in Stoke-on-Trent. He returned to Scotland c.1885 to work briefly in the office of John Burnet & Son under John James Burnet, before commencing practice on his own account in 1886 in Dumbarton. A second office was opened in Glasgow in 1896. The practice specialised in the design of first-class passenger steamer interiors - of which Crawford had designed over thirty by 1906, at least some of these being for the prominent Dumbarton shipbuilding firm of William Denny & Bros - in addition to the usual repertoire of church, school, commercial and domestic buildings.

Crawford took his former apprentice Alexander Cochran Denny into partnership in the Dumbarton office in June 1900. Denny, presumably a member of the shipbuilding family, had spent brief periods working for Peter Macgregor Chalmers and Hippolyte Jean Blanc since leaving Crawford's office in March 1899. The partnership was dissolved in June 1903 when Crawford gave up the Dumbarton branch office, working thereafter in Glasgow whilst Denny continued the Dumbarton practice independently.

Crawford was a prominent member of the Glasgow Arts Club and was first architect president in 1903. He was admitted FRIBA on 11 June 1906, his proposers being John Keppie, Horatio Kelson Bromhead and C J MacLean. Crawford's architecture is generally somewhat disappointing given his London experience. He had retired by 1930 and died in 1950

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 637, Church Street, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1886After 1903 
Item 2 of 6103, Douglas Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1899After 1900 
Item 3 of 6113, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1904After 1910(?) 
Item 4 of 6Auchinlarich, Caldarvan, by Balloch, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivate1906 *  
Item 5 of 677, Wilson Street, Hillhead, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1914  
Item 6 of 6The Tower, Torrance, Stirlingshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1914After 1940 

* 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 7John Burnet (senior)1872c. 1876Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7(Sir) Arthur William BlomfieldAfter 1876Before 1885Assistant(?) 
Item 3 of 7William FlockhartAfter 1876Before 1885Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 7Charles LynamAfter 1876Before 1885Assistant(?) 
Item 5 of 7(Sir) George Gilbert ScottAfter 1876Before 1885Assistant 
Item 6 of 7John Burnet & Sonc. 18851886Assistant(?) 
Item 7 of 7Crawford & DennyJune 1900June 1903Partner 

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 6George Farquhar1888c. August 1895Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Alexander Cochran DennyApril 1893March 1899ApprenticeLater partner (dissolved 1903)
Item 3 of 6William Rankin1898March 1900Apprentice 
Item 4 of 6William Fraser Tytler Stewart19001905Apprentice 
Item 5 of 6John RalstonBefore 1901 Apprentice 
Item 6 of 6Hamilton Neil19021904Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Horatio Kelson Bromhead11 June 1906for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3John Keppie11 June 1906for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3C J MacLean11 June 1906for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Alexander Cochran Denny4 March 1907for Associateship
Item 2 of 2William Rankin24 June 1912for 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 24 Dumbarton Cemetery, Denny family MausoleumDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandDate unknown
Item 2 of 24After 1886Columba HotelOban ArgyllScotlandUnspecified work
Item 3 of 24After 1886Five Board Schools   Scotland 
Item 4 of 24After 1886House for L A DennyDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 5 of 24After 1886John Brown's Experimental TankClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 6 of 24After 1886Over thirty first-class passenger steamers     
Item 7 of 24After 1886Royal Bank of ScotlandOban ArgyllScotland 
Item 8 of 241890College Street SchoolDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 9 of 241890William Denny InstituteDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 10 of 241892Glenburn HydropathicRothesayButeButeScotlandComplete rebuilding after destruction by fire - won in competition
Item 11 of 241893Knoxland SchoolDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandExtension
Item 12 of 241894St Mungo's Episcopal ChurchAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 13 of 241895Workshops, 76 John StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 14 of 24After 1896Dunstane HouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandRemodelling?
Item 15 of 241897Dumbarton Parish Church HallsDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 16 of 241898Dumbarton Infectious Diseases HospitalDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 17 of 241898Station HotelDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 18 of 241898Tenements, College Street and Station RoadDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 19 of 24c. 1900McGrouther's PropertyDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 20 of 241902FisherwoodBalloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 21 of 241903Villa, Lennox Drive WestHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 22 of 241905SS Yongaia, ship interior    Design exhibited for music room and stair
Item 23 of 241907Dennistoun Baptist ChurchDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 24 of 24c. 1899EastercroftCaldercruix LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914  p460
Item 2 of 4Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 3 of 4MacLeod, D1893Dumbarton Ancient and Modern   
Item 4 of 4Who's Who in Glasgow1909    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Glasgow City ArchivesWorsdall Collection  
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research by Iain Paterson
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v17 p61 no1127 (microfilm reel 12)


© All rights reserved. Who 

© All rights reserved. Who's who in Glasgow 1909