© All rights reserved. The Bailie 25 November 1896 (courtesy of Iain Paterson) 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Beith McDonald
Designation: Architect
Born: 12 August 1847
Died: 31 October 1915
Bio Notes: Alexander Beith McDonald was born in Stirling in 1847, the son of Alexander McDonald, glazier and town councillor and his wife Elizabeth Thomson. He was articled to the land surveyors and civil engineers Smith & Wharrie of Glasgow in 1862, and studied engineering, natural philosophy and mathematics at Glasgow University. He entered the office of Glasgow City Architect John Carrick in 1870, assisting in work related to the City Improvement Trust as well as in the building of police offices, fire station, markets, baths, washhouses and tenements. He married Janet Napier at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh in 1877.

McDonald was an administrator rather than a professional as his letter of application seeking to succeed as City Architect acknowledges, the title of the post being changed to City Engineer when he was appointed in 1890, and to City Surveyor in 1891; his claim to the office rested previously on the years he had spent managing the Office of Public Works under Carrick, but the major drainage and sewage scheme to be undertaken under the Act of Parliament of 1891 may also have been a significant factor in the decision to appoint him. The quality of the work of his office varied according to those to whom projects were allocated but William Brown Whitie, Robert Horn, John Alfred Taylor Houston and Thomas Gilmour all had exceptional ability.

McDonald retired from the Office of Works in 1914 and died at 29 Kersland Street, Glasgow on 31 October 1915 of a cerebral haemorrhage as a result of a head injury sustained in a fall from a tramcar in Sauchiehall Street. He was buried in the Western Necropolis, and left moveable estate of 1,102 12s 8d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 23, Garrioch Gardens, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1901 *  
Item 2 of 229, Kersland Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1915 *  

* 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 4Smith & Wharrie1862Before 1870Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4John Carrick18701890AssistantWorking under Carrick in Glasgow Office of Public Works/City Architect's Department
Item 3 of 4Glasgow Office of Public Works Architectural Department (later Glasgow Corporation City Engineer's Department)18701890AssistantWorking under John Carrick, City Architect
Item 4 of 4Glasgow Office of Public Works Architectural Department (later Glasgow Corporation City Engineer's Department)18901914Chief ArchitectSince McDonald was more an administrator and civil engineer than an architect, the post title was changed to City Engineer when he succeeded Carrick in 1890, and to City Surveyor in 1891

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 5William Reid2 July 18881 May 1900AssistantIn the City Engineer's Department
Item 2 of 5David McBean (or David MacBean)1890After 1891AssistantIn Office of Public Works
Item 3 of 5Thomas Gildard18901895(?)In Glasgow Office of Public Works
Item 4 of 5William Brown Whitie18941899AssistantIn City Engineer's Office
Item 5 of 5William Salmond18991902AssistantIn Office of Public Works, Glasgow

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 981889City Improvement Trust Buildings, High Street and Bell Street  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building with John Carrick
Item 2 of 981890City Improvement Trust tenement, Graeme Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Architect but mainly by David McBean as assistant
Item 3 of 981891City Improvement Trust tenements and shops, High Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 4 of 981891City Improvement Trust tenements and shops, Trongate  GlasgowScotlandPerhaps based on earlier scheme by John Carrick
Item 5 of 981891Police Barracks, Clyde Street  GlasgowScotlandAs Glasgow City Surveyor in the Office of Public Works
Item 6 of 981892Belvidere Hospital  GlasgowScotlandNurses' home - as City Surveyor
Item 7 of 981892City Improvement Trust tenement with shops, Saltmarket  GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 981892Maryhill Fire Station and Police OfficeMaryhill GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 9 of 981892Police Office and Barracks  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 10 of 981892Queen's Park Police Station and Fire Station  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 11 of 981892Ruchill Hospital for Infectious Diseases  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 12 of 981892Ruchill ParkRuchill GlasgowScotlandLayout - as City Surveyor
Item 13 of 981892Springburn Fire StationSpringburn GlasgowScotlandCorner block - as Glasgow City Surveyor
Item 14 of 981892Springburn ParkSpringburn GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 15 of 981893City Improvement Trust tenements, Collins Street, Rottenrow and Weaver Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 16 of 981893City Improvement Trust tenements, Saltmarket, Parnie Street and Chisholm Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 17 of 981893People's Palace  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor - William Brown Whitie mainly responsible
Item 18 of 981894Eastern Sewage WorksDalmarnock GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 19 of 981894Family Home  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 20 of 981894Glasgow Botanic Gardens  GlasgowScotlandNew gates and lodge (as City Surveyor)
Item 21 of 981894Kelvingrove Park, Prince of Wales BridgeKelvingrove GlasgowScotlandAs Glasgow City Surveyor
Item 22 of 981894Tenements on King Street, Parnie Street and Osborne Street  GlasgowScotlandSupervised MacBean
Item 23 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenement, Kirk Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 24 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenement, St James Road  GlasgowScotlandAs City surveyor
Item 25 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenements and shops, Bell Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 26 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenements and shops, Trongate, King Street and Parnie   GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenements, Bain Street, Gallowgate and Millroad Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 28 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenements, Cumberland Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 29 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenements, McLeod Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 30 of 981895City Improvement Trust tenements, Saltmarket  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 31 of 981895Sanitary Chambers  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 32 of 981896Bellahouston Park  GlasgowScotlandLayout (as City Surveyor)
Item 33 of 981896City Improvement Trust tenement, High Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City surveyor
Item 34 of 981896City Improvement Trust tenements, Barony Street and Stirling Road  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 35 of 981896City Improvement Trust tenements, Castle Street and St James Road  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 36 of 981896City Improvement Trust tenements, St Andrew Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 37 of 981896City Improvement Trust tenements, Stobcross Street, Piccadilly Street etc  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 38 of 981896City Improvement Trust workshops, Parnie Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 39 of 981896Maryhill Public Baths and WashhousesMaryhill GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 40 of 981896Weir and Pipe Bridge over the River ClydeGlasgow Green GlasgowScotlandWith Benjamin Baker as consultant (McDonald as City Surveyor)
Item 41 of 981897City Improvement Trust tenements, Clyde Street, Piccadilly Street, Stobcross Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 42 of 981897City Improvement Trust tenements, Stobcross Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 43 of 981897City Improvement Trust tenements, Stobcross Street and Clyde Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 44 of 981897City Improvement Trust tenements, Stobcross Street, Warrock Street etc  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 45 of 981897Hutchesontown Public Baths and WashhousesHutchesontown GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor, in Glasgow Office of Public Works
Item 46 of 981897Queen's Park Fire Station  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 47 of 981897Richmond Park  GlasgowScotlandLayout - as City Surveyor
Item 48 of 981898City Improvement Trust tenements, Bain Street and Gallowgate  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 49 of 981898City Improvement Trust tenements, High street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 50 of 981898City Improvement Trust tenements, St James Road  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 51 of 981898Fire Department Headquarters  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 52 of 981898Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901Kelvingrove GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - unplaced (whilst City Surveyor in Glasgow Office of Public Works)
Item 53 of 981898Springburn Public Baths and WashhousesSpringburn GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor, in Glasgow Office of Public Works
Item 54 of 981898Tenements with shops at ground floor  GlasgowScotland 
Item 55 of 981899Kennedy Street Public Baths and Washhouses  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor, in Glasgow Office of Public Works
Item 56 of 981899Stobcross Public Baths and WashhousesStobcross GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor, in Glasgow Office of Public Works
Item 57 of 981899Whitevale Street Baths  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor (W Sharp mainly responsible)
Item 58 of 981900Bain Square Public Baths and Washhouses  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor, in Glasgow Office of Public Works
Item 59 of 981900City Improvement Trust tenements, Cumberland Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 60 of 981901Bellahouston Park  GlasgowScotlandExtension (as City Surveyor)
Item 61 of 981901Govan Public Baths and WashhousesGovan GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor, in Glasgow Office of Public Works
Item 62 of 981902Cheese Market building  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 63 of 981902National Bank of Scotland and Square of Business ChambersShawlands GlasgowScotlandReconstruction and reerection (as City Surveyor - but Robert William Horn as assistant mainly responsible)
Item 64 of 981903Bellahouston Park  GlasgowScotlandExtension (as City Surveyor)
Item 65 of 981903City Improvement Trust tenements, Adelphi Street, Muirhead Street etc  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor - but probably by Robert W Horn as assistant
Item 66 of 981903City Improvement Trust tenements, Blackie Street, Overnewton Street & Haugh Road  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 67 of 981903City Improvement Trust tenements, Saltmarket, Jocelyn Square, Bridgegate etc  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 68 of 981904Central Police Buildings  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 69 of 981904City Improvement Trust tenements, Finnart Street and Franklin Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor - may be by Robert W Horn
Item 70 of 981904Kingston Halls and Public Library and police office  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor (but mainly by R W Horn)
Item 71 of 981904Old Ship Bank building  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor, but mainly R W Horn responsible
Item 72 of 981904Partick Sewage Pumping Station  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 73 of 981904Pollokshields District LibraryPollokshields GlasgowScotlandRevised designs of Thomas Gilchrist Gilmour
Item 74 of 981905Boathouse for the Clydesdale ARC  GlasgowScotland 
Item 75 of 981905City Improvement Trust office blocks & shops, Stockwell Street, Bridgegate etc  GlasgowScotland 
Item 76 of 981905City Improvement Trust tenement and shops, Stockwell Street and Bridgegate  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 77 of 981905City Improvement Trust tenements, Cumbernauld Road  GlasgowScotlandRobert W Horn won competition but taken back in house by McDonald
Item 78 of 981905Parkhead Baths and WashhousesParkhead GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 79 of 981905Queen's Park  GlasgowScotlandPropagating houses (As City Surveyor)
Item 80 of 98c. 1905City Improvement Trust tenement and shops, Stockwell Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 81 of 981906City Improvement Trust tenements, Winning Row and Wellington Street  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 82 of 981907Bellahouston Park  GlasgowScotlandGate lodge of Paisley Road West (as City Surveyor) - J A T Houston responsible, under supervision of A B McDonald in Office of Public Works
Item 83 of 981907City Halls and BazaarCandleriggs GlasgowScotlandWarehouses and cheese market (fireproof construction), extension of fruit market and renovation of vegetable market - J A T Houston responsible, under supervision of A B McDonald in Office of Public Works
Item 84 of 981910Abattoirs and Meat Market  GlasgowScotlandSome ranges added and gateway
Item 85 of 981910City Improvement Trust block of offices & warehouses, High Street & Bell Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 86 of 981910Ruchill Hospital for Infectious Diseases  GlasgowScotlandThree further pavilions (As City Surveyor)
Item 87 of 98c. 1910Glasgow Public Halls  GlasgowScotlandOrgan case
Item 88 of 981912Calder Street Public Baths and WashhousesGovanhill GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor; completed in 1917 after his death two years earlier
Item 89 of 981912Kelvin Way Bridge  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 90 of 981912McLellan Art Gallery and warehouse  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction and extensive new galleries (McDonald as City Surveyor, working in collaboration with Robert William Horn)
Item 91 of 98c. 1912Tenements, Howard StreetBridgeton GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 92 of 981913Kelvingrove Park, Children's Shelter  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 93 of 981913Police Barracks, Clyde Street  GlasgowScotlandExtension - as Glasgow City Surveyor in the Office of Public Works
Item 94 of 981913Ruchill Hospital for Infectious Diseases  GlasgowScotlandTuberculosis pavilion (As City Surveyor)
Item 95 of 981913Tenements, Easter Kennyhill Estate  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor
Item 96 of 981914Glasgow Art Gallery and MuseumKelvingrove GlasgowScotlandNew south approaches (as City Surveyor)
Item 97 of 981914Southern District Fire Station  GlasgowScotlandAs City Surveyor; completed in 1916 after his death the previous year
Item 98 of 981915(?)Cathedral Square area layout  GlasgowScotlandStreet layout formalised (as City Surveyor)

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 3Withey, K Matthew2003The Glasgow Improvement Trust: an analysis of its genesis, impact and legacy and an inventory of its buildings PhD thesis 
Item 3 of 3www.glasgowsculpture.com2005www.glasgowsculpture.com Website of 'Glasgow - City of Scultpure', co-produced by Gary Nisbet and Tim Gardner 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Building News10 November 1915v108 Obituary
Item 2 of 5Glasgow Herald2 November 1915  Obituary
Item 3 of 5Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers1916CCI p398
Item 4 of 5The Bailie25 November 1896   
Item 5 of 5The Bailie4 May 1910   

Images

© All rights reserved. The Bailie 25 November 1896 (courtesy of Iain Paterson) 

© All rights reserved. The Bailie 25 November 1896 (courtesy of Iain Paterson)