Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Johnston
Designation: Architect
Born: 1839
Died: 12 July 1922
Bio Notes: Alexander Johnston was born in 1839 and appears to have been an assistant of Peddie and Kinnear, coming to Dundee in the later 1860s to supervise the building of Morgan's Hospital and of Mayfield for Francis Molison and possibly other Peddie and Kinnear projects in the Dundee area. He made a favourable impression on the related Molison and Baxter families, and they promised him their support much as the Gilroys were to do later with John Murray Robertson at Castleroy. He opened an office in Reform Street in 1867 and from the partners of Baxter Brothers Johnston extended his influence to the local clergy, the Royal Infirmary and to the whiskey blenders so that in David Baxter's words it was 'all kirks and whisky bonds'. Baxter described his partner as really a Renaissance man compelled by the nature of his practice to become a Gothic designer, the earlier churches, which show the influence of Peddie and Kinnear's plate traceried churches of the 1860s being more interesting.

David William Baxter was born in Dundee on 24 March 1874 and had been articled to Alexander Johnston 1889-93 and remained as an assistant 1893-94, attending classes at University College and the Technical Institute. In 1894 Johnston arranged Baxter's transfer to John Murray Robertson's office to gain more up-to-date experience, but at a chance meeting in Reform Street in 1896 told him that he had better come back as prospective partner. He became a full partner at the beginning of 1899. David Baxter designed all the work of the firm thereafter, also providing architectural services for his brother George, who was the city's water engineer, at Lintrathen and other sites as well as within the city itself. He was admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912.

David Baxter subsequently set up a branch office in Blairgowrie from which he latterly practised almost exclusively, with a house at Rosemount, the Dundee practice being in the hands of David Baxter Junior (b. 1907) who became a partner in 1928. Alexander Johnston, who was married first to Mary Ower who died on 21 April 1881 and then to Georgina Ower Laird, died in 1922, leaving moveable estate of 11,311 1s 4d with an eke of 34 18s 1.

The practice continued under the same title run by David Baxter junior until he was brifely joined by his brother about 1948. In the early 1950s J Russel Baxter became the practice's quantity surveyor. In 1959 John Clark and James Paul were taken into partnership and the name changed to Baxter Clarke & Paul. David Baxter junior died in 1957.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Viewbank, Montague Street, Barnhill, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate   
Item 2 of 4Reform Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1867  
Item 3 of 419, Ward Road, Dundee, ScotlandBusinessc. 1869  
Item 4 of 448, Meadowside, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1914 *  

* 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 2Peddie & Kinnearc. 1868 * Assistant 
Item 2 of 2Johnston & Baxter1899 Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 6William Henderson Duncan18701874Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6William Constable18831885Assistant 
Item 3 of 6George Alexander Pyott1884c. 1889Apprentice 
Item 4 of 6David William Baxter18891893Apprentice 
Item 5 of 6David William Baxter18931894Assistant 
Item 6 of 6David William Baxter18961898ArchitectProspective partner

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 911868Mayfield  DundeeScotlandSupervised building of the Peddie & Kinnear design
Item 2 of 911869Dundee Royal Infirmary  DundeeScotlandReplacement of Caen stone dressings
Item 3 of 911869Mechanics Institute and Working Men's ClubBlairgowrie PerthshireScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 4 of 911869Newport-on-Tay Parish Church and ManseNewport-on-Tay FifeScotland 
Item 5 of 911869Tenements, 72-76 Bell Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 6 of 911869Unitarian Christian Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 7 of 911869Warehouse, Bell Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 8 of 911870Premises in Balgay Street for David Nicoll  DundeeScotland 
Item 9 of 911871Clepington Foundry  DundeeScotland 
Item 10 of 911871Villa, 7 Albany Terrace  DundeeScotland 
Item 11 of 911871Warehouse, Malcolm's Pend  DundeeScotland 
Item 12 of 911871Warehouses for Baxter Brothers  DundeeScotland 
Item 13 of 911871Wesleyan Manse  DundeeScotland 
Item 14 of 911872Dundee Royal Infirmary  DundeeScotlandNurses' accommodation
Item 15 of 911872Logie Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 16 of 911872Offices, Panmure Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 17 of 911872Pathhead Free Church HallKirkcaldy FifeScotlandProbably the 'Johnston' who supplied detailed specifications for Menzies' design
Item 18 of 911872Tayfield Works  DundeeScotlandWarehouse for M & A Scott
Item 19 of 911872Warehouses, Seagate and Cowgate  DundeeScotland 
Item 20 of 9118732 Douglas TerraceDudhope DundeeScotland 
Item 21 of 911873Young Men's Christian Association  DundeeScotlandextension
Item 22 of 911874Clepington ChurchHilltown DundeeScotlandWon competition
Item 23 of 911874Watt Institution  DundeeScotlandAttic floor added
Item 24 of 911875Bonanza  DundeeScotland 
Item 25 of 911875Errol Park HouseErrol PerthshireScotlandHouse, east and west lodge and gates (see separate entry for stables)
Item 26 of 911875Errol Park House stablesErrol PerthshireScotlandStables built at same time as house
Item 27 of 911875Forebank Dyeworks  DundeeScotland 
Item 28 of 911875St Matthew's Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 29 of 9118776 Victoria Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 30 of 911877Commercial building, 1,3,5 Murraygate, 51-63 Commercial Street, 20-26 Seagate  DundeeScotland 
Item 31 of 91c. 1877Blyth Memorial Hall (and municipal buildings)Newport FifeScotland 
Item 32 of 91c. 1877RosemountBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandRebuilding
Item 33 of 91187815 Meadowside  DundeeScotland 
Item 34 of 911878Commercial Street elevations  DundeeScotlandNos 97-99 Commercial Street
Item 35 of 911878RowanbankBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 36 of 911880Clepington ChurchHilltown DundeeScotlandActual construction? Further work? Gifford gives the date for the church as 1880-1881 but the drawings are dated 1874 and 1880.
Item 37 of 911881Ardler Church and manseArdler PerthshireScotland 
Item 38 of 911882VillaWest Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 39 of 911883Blind Institute  DundeeScotland 
Item 40 of 911884St Mary's ChurchBlairgowrie PerthshireScotland 
Item 41 of 911884St Ninian's Parish ChurchLochee DundeeScotlandAdditions and hall
Item 42 of 911885Bendochy Parish Church  PerthshireScotlandRestoration and reconstruction
Item 43 of 911885Dundee Royal Infirmary  DundeeScotlandNew block, dispensary and mortuary
Item 44 of 911886Established ChurchDownfield DundeeScotland 
Item 45 of 911887Morrison EU Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 46 of 911888Ardler SchoolArdler PerthshireScotland 
Item 47 of 911890Lochee Park with lodge and gatesLochee DundeeScotlandLodge and gates
Item 48 of 911891Breakfast Mission  DundeeScotland 
Item 49 of 911892Airlie KirkKirkton of Airlie AngusScotlandNorth jamb
Item 50 of 911892Downfield Church  DundeeScotlandNew neo-Norman front - following a sketch by the minister Rev Robert Lorimer
Item 51 of 911893Baxter Park Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 52 of 911895Kirkton of Tealing Parish ChurchKirkton of Tealing AngusScotlandWindows replaced and internal alterations. Ventry and classrooms added.
Item 53 of 911895Model housing development  DundeeScotland 
Item 54 of 911896Downfield Church  DundeeScotlandSession house extended to become hall
Item 55 of 91189710-12 Ward Road  DundeeScotlandGifford gives Johnston as architect rather than Baxter. (Baxter was not yet a partner)
Item 56 of 911897John Robertson's Bond  DundeeScotlandWith David William Baxter as prospective partner
Item 57 of 911897(?)Morven LodgeBallater AberdeenshireScotlandAttribution on stylistic grounds: it was a Keiller house (with David William Baxter as prospective partner)
Item 58 of 911897Scottish Provident Institution Buildings  DundeeScotlandWith David William Baxter as prospective partner
Item 59 of 911897Victoria HallErrol PerthshireScotland 
Item 60 of 911897Villa, Brook StreetBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAdditions
Item 61 of 91c. 1897Kilmaron CastleCupar FifeScotlandAdditions - with David William Baxter as prospective partner
Item 62 of 911898Church and Church hall, ClepingtonClepington DundeeScotland 
Item 63 of 911898Panmure HotelMonifieth AngusScotlandWith David William Baxter as prospective partner
Item 64 of 911899Barnhill Convalescent HomeBarnhill DundeeScotlandExtensions
Item 65 of 911899Barry Golf Course and ClubhouseBarry AngusScotland 
Item 66 of 911899Errol fountain and market crossErrol PerthshireScotland 
Item 67 of 911899Errol Park House stablesErrol PerthshireScotlandAddition of octagonal top storey
Item 68 of 911899IslabankBarnhill DundeeScotland 
Item 69 of 911900Alyth Parish ChurchAlyth PerthshireScotlandNew organ case
Item 70 of 911900Foresters' Halls  DundeeScotland 
Item 71 of 911900TircarraBarnhill DundeeScotlandNew wing and two lodges
Item 72 of 911901James Keiller & Sons Factory  DundeeScotlandGateway and extensive additions
Item 73 of 911901Newport-on-Tay Parish Church and ManseNewport-on-Tay FifeScotlandExtension to church and new manse
Item 74 of 911901St Michael's Church  DundeeScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 75 of 911902St Thomas ChurchBalgay DundeeScotland 
Item 76 of 911903(?)Lint Riggs, east sideFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandMasonic Temple in middle of east side (nos 5-15), departing from David Ronald's suggested elevation - as assistant to T M Copland?
Item 77 of 91c. 1903Dundee Savings BankLochee DundeeScotland 
Item 78 of 911904Ardvorlich  DundeeScotland 
Item 79 of 911904Villa for Malcolm, Forthill RoadBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 80 of 911905BalmyleWest Ferry DundeeScotlandRebuilding
Item 81 of 911906Dundee Savings BankHilltown DundeeScotland 
Item 82 of 911906Robertson's Bond, Candle Lane  DundeeScotland 
Item 83 of 911906Watson's Bond  DundeeScotland 
Item 84 of 91c. 1906James Keiller & Sons Shop  DundeeScotland 
Item 85 of 911907Beach Mission Church HallBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAddition of hall
Item 86 of 911907ClaremontWest Ferry DundeeScotlandAddition of eastern bay, including new entrance porch
Item 87 of 911907Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds Building  DundeeScotland 
Item 88 of 911910Vernonholme house and lodge  DundeeScotland 
Item 89 of 91Before 1912Victoria Church  Dundee?Scotland 
Item 90 of 911913Dundee Savings Bank, Eastern Branch  DundeeScotland 
Item 91 of 911919Housing Estate for Corporation of Dundee, Strathmore Avenue Area  DundeeScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp109
Item 2 of 5Dundee Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 5Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 4 of 5Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp180
Item 5 of 5Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Dundee Sheriff Court Sc45/31/30 & 31 ( Johnston's first wife)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from David Baxter