Basic Biographical Details

Name: Cousin & Ormiston
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: Before 1878
Ended: c. 1905
Bio Notes: George Cousin was David Cousin's brother and was in his office at Royal Exchange by at least 1864 along with William Ormiston who was, according to his apprentice John Hinton Gall, Cousin's partner though perhaps not necessarily at that date. When David Cousin was spending much of his time abroad trying to recover his health George Cousin and William Ormiston appear to have been responsible for his private practice, although Ormiston also entered into short-term arrangements with John Lessels during that period, submitting a joint design for the Medical School. Either when David Cousin died in the USA in August 1878, or perhaps earlier, they formed the partnership of Cousin & Ormiston to continue it, but they did not retain the business of the British Linen Bank, David Cousin's main client.

George Cousin died on 17 September 1890 but Ormiston who became Lord Dean of Guild continued to practise under the firm's name. The practice's known works were few and unimportant until 1900 when the commission for the Hotel Paris was received (although in 1895 they were acting as agents in selling a piece of ground in Lauriston Gardens whilst still describing themselves as 'architects', in 1898 they are described as 'surveyors and valuators' and maybe a large part of their business was related to that. The practice acted as vaulators for the acquistion by a new company of the Abbotshall Spinnign Mills). However after 1900 when the commission for the Hotel Paris was received their architectural work seems to have flourished. For this project a very able free-style assistant was recruited but his identity has not been traced through the nomination papers. In 1904 the commission for James Gray & Sons' equally stylish building was received, but in the following year Ormiston merged the practice with that of Lessels & Taylor, bringing to a final conclusion the long-standing links between the Cousin and Lessels practices.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1140, Princes Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1892c. 1905 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6Peter Robert McLaren1877c. 1882Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6William Nicholas ThomsonAfter 18781889Assistant 
Item 3 of 6George CousinBefore 1878Before 1900(?)Partner 
Item 4 of 6William OrmistonBefore 1878c. 1905Partner 
Item 5 of 6Peter Robert McLarenc. 18821886Assistant 
Item 6 of 6James Thomson1891January 1898Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 71880Grange Publishing Works  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 71888Methodist Church, St Clair StreetKirkcaldy FifeScotlandOrmiston responsible - with Alexander Fraser Junior as builder
Item 3 of 7After 1890Business premises, George Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 71894North Bridge  EdinburghScotlandProvided estimated costs of widening the bridge
Item 5 of 71895Tenements with shops, Cadzow Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 71900Hotel Paris, South St Andrew Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 71904James Gray & Son, George Street  EdinburghScotlandDesign exhibited


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Scotsman9 May 1895   
Item 2 of 3Scotsman21 May 1898   
Item 3 of 3Scotsman25 June 1898   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers John Hinton Gall: L v17 no1275 (mentions 'G Cousin' as Ormiston's partner)