Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Symon
Designation: Architect
Born: 7 September 1875
Died: 4 September 1934
Bio Notes: Alexander Symon was born at Ardler, Perthshire on 7 September1875, the son of Archibald Anderson Symon of Carver & Symon, Arbroath. He entered his father's practice in 1890 as an apprentice and remained as an assistant from 1895 until 1898 and was in charge of the Forfar branch of the practice during these years. He left to seek wider experience first with Forman & Aston in Belfast, then with Horace Field in London and finally with the firm's ex-assistant, Archibald Campbell Dickie, who was then sharing an office with Dunn & Watson. While in London he attended the classes of the Architectural Association, passing the qualifying exam in 1900. He applied for Associateship of the RIBA in October 1900, by which time he was working for the London County Council, and was admitted ARIBA on 3 December that year, proposed by the then president and secretary of the Architectural Association, William Howard Seth Smith and G B Carvill.

Alexander returned to his father's office as a partner by 1912. During World War I he worked in the Office of Works. After the war in 1919 a London office was opened in with Alexander in charge, his father being based in Arbroath with an additional office in Forfar and retaining responsibility for the Angus end of the practice. Alexander was elected FRIBA in 1924. Alexander practised mainly in London at this time designing the tower of St Saviour's RC Church in Lewisham, a number of RC Schools, and the sports pavilion of the National Bank of India at Blackheath.

Archibald Anderson Symon died in 1930 at the age of 84; between then and his own death on 4 September 1934 Alexander maintained offices in both London and Arbroath. Prior to his death a Dundee office had been opened and he had taken into partnership Donald Ross, from Thoms and Wilkie's practice, the firm becoming Carver Symon & Ross.

Alexander was unmarried and lived with his two sisters, one in London and one in Arbroath; his Arbroath address was Lochlands Cottage, Lochlands Street. Despite the Catholic nature of his London practice he was a member of the United Free Church, attending Ladyloan Church, Arbroath.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Dundee, ScotlandBusiness  Branch office
Item 2 of 4Lochlands Cottage, Lochlands Street, Arbroath, ScotlandPrivate 1934 
Item 3 of 44, Shawfield Street, Kings Road, London, EnglandPrivate1900 *  
Item 4 of 412, Hart Street, London, EnglandBusiness1930 *  

* 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 8Carver & Symon18901895ApprenticeLater assistant and partner
Item 2 of 8Carver & Symon18951897 or 1898Assistant 
Item 3 of 8Forman & Aston18981898Assistant 
Item 4 of 8Horace Field1898Late 1898Assistant 
Item 5 of 8Archibald Campbell Dickie18991899Assistant 
Item 6 of 8London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)1900Before 1912  
Item 7 of 8Carver & SymonBefore 19121934Partner 
Item 8 of 8Carver, Symon & Ross (or Ross & Partners)c. 1934September 1934Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2George Baron Carvill3 December 1900for Associateship - as Secretary of the Architectural Association
Item 2 of 2William Howard Seth-Smith3 December 1900for Associateship - as President of the Architectural Association

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 31894Bruce HotelCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 2 of 31896(?)Bruce HotelCarnoustie AngusScotlandAlterations?
Item 3 of 31936The AcademyArbroath AngusScotlandAdditions at side and rear altered and extended again


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Bu7 September 1934   
Item 2 of 3Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post4 September 1934  p7
Item 3 of 3RIAS Quarterly193448Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)1934-35

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 v14 p109 (microfiche 69/A7); F no1967