Basic Biographical Details

Name: Gordon, Son & Bennet Dobson
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: c. 1904
Ended: 1907
Bio Notes: John Gordon was born in Paisley in 1835, the son of John Gordon, a wine merchant's agent, and his wife Jessie Young. In 1853 he was in the office of Black & Salmon as an articled apprentice, but when that partnership was dissolved he remained with James Salmon as principal assistant. Subsequently he moved to the office of William Spence where he worked in the same capacity until he set up practice on his own account some time prior to 1857 when he designed Grove Park Mills.

In his earlier years Gordon was strongly influenced by Alexander Thomson's Romanesque church school and villa designs which he perhaps knew at first hand from Thomson's office. His large commercial buildings in West Nile Street and Renfield Street of 1876 show the influence of Thomson's neo-Greek commercial architecture but the giant Wool Exchange in Basinghall Street, London, his largest project, was elaborately Romanesque with Byzantine touches, a style also adopted at 28-32 St Enoch Square as originally built. His practice was otherwise predominantly industrial.

Gordon married Catherine Isabella Graham; the date of their marriage is unknown.

In 'Building Industries' 17 December 1917 (re: alterations to the Alexandra Hotel) Thomas Baird who had been an apprentice 1876-81 was described as having been with the practice for twenty-five years, presumably largely as a partner, though his name was not included in the practice title. That he was a partner is confirmed by their joint names appearing on the Dean of Guild drawings for Strathbungo Public School of 1893-95 but he must have left by 1903. In the latter year one of Gordon's sons, J Graham Gordon, became a partner along with David Woodburn Sturrock as Gordon Son & Sturrock. Sturrock had previously practised independently: born in 1860, he had been articled to David Thomson and had remained with him as an assistant, subsequently spending over five years in Spain, France and Germany before commencing practice on his own account in 1898.

Later in the same year, 1903, the skilful Art Nouveau designer D Bennet Dobson was taken into partnership and his name acknowledged in the practice title as Gordon, Son, Dobson & Sturrock. Dobson had been born at 292 St George's Road, Glasgow on 8 September 1871, the son of Robert Dobson, a mason with the North British Railway from Tranent, and his wife Catherine Bennet from Inverkeithing. He had been a student at Glasgow School of Art in 1887-8 and had joined Gordon's firm in or before 1894, probably as an assistant. In or around the following year, 1904, Sturrock withdrew to continue in independent practice, and the firm became Gordon, Son & Bennet Dobson.

Dobson ceased to be a partner in 1907 when he formed the short-lived practice of D Bennet Dobson & Co. The practice continued thereafter as John Gordon & Son, at some point joined by another son, Thomas Baird Gordon, named after Gordon's former chief assistant and partner.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1261, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1904After 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 3John Gordonc. 19041907Partner 
Item 2 of 3David Bennet Dobsonc. 19041907Partner 
Item 3 of 3John Graham Gordonc. 19041907Partner 

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 31904Riselaw House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 31905Primitive Methodist Church, Alexandra Parade  GlasgowScotlandMade design - commission lost to Chalmers
Item 3 of 31906Double villas in Balshagray Avenue and Mitre Road for James Watson  GlasgowScotland 


Currently, there are no references for this architectural practice. The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.