Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Donald
Designation: Architect
Born: 1852 or 1854(?)
Died: 9 April 1917
Bio Notes: James Donald was born in Netherton, Renfrewshire about 1854, (his date of birth variously given as 1854 and 1852, his age was quoted as 'about 65' when he died), the son of James Donald, gardener, and his wife Margaret. His pupil Thomas Smith Tait's RIBA Nomination Paper records that he was a pupil of Alexander Thomson, and that he worked - probably only for a short time - in Thomson & Turnbull's, previously unrecorded and so far unidentified Paisley office.

Donald commenced independent practice at 22 Caledonia Street Paisley in 1881 and quickly found his way into Liberal Party circles. He was elected to the local executive committee of the Liberal Party Association in 1886, and in the same year was commissioned to design the Paisley Liberal Club, a work which suggests that he had some acquaintance with the work of James Sellars and John Burnet & Son c.1877-80. Thereafter he had a reasonably prosperous practice which enabled him to move house from Abbey Street to Royal Terrace (now part of Glasgow Road) and eventually design and build his own house 'Dunraven' on Arkleston Road. He was admitted a member of the Liberal Club in 1890, served on its general committee and became its vice-president, but his membership terminated for unexplained reasons in 1900. During the same period he served on Paisley Town Council to which he was elected in 1886, representing the newly created 6th (Abercorn) ward until his retirement in 1912.

Donald's practice suffered severely from a court case in 1902. In January of that year he sued a Glasgow building contractor, Angus Kennedy for 107 6s 6d, the unpaid fee for a tenement in New Street, Donald having previously designed several others for him in Bothwell Street and New Street. Kennedy disputed the fee, but Donald's charges were held to be justified by two professional witnesses, Thomas Graham Abercrombie and the Glasgow architect George S Kenneth. Kennedy then claimed that he had an arrangement with Donald whereby the latter would waive his fee if Kennedy convinced a local landlord, Charles Watson, that 'his friend on the Council' (i.e.Donald) was the best man for the job of redeveloping Watson's property in Causewayside for which the Town Council's Improvement Committee was then negotiating. Unfortunately for Donald, Watson was called as a witness and gave evidence that he had been 'pestered to the point of impertinence' by Kennedy 'a man he barely knew'. The court ordered Kennedy to pay 45, but the bad publicity was followed by a Town Council inquiry into the allegations that Donald had misused his position on the Improvements Committee to gain business. These were found unproven: Donald remained on the Improvements and Public Health Committees until he retired.

James Donald moved to Greenock on his retirement from the Town Council in 1914 'having received an appointment in that town'. He died there at 30 Robertson Street on 9 April 1917.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7Paisley, Renfrewshire, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 7Dunraven, Arkleston Road, Paisley, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate   
Item 3 of 7Abbey Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate   
Item 4 of 722, Caledonia Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire, ScotlandBusiness1881  
Item 5 of 7Royal Terrace (Glasgow Road), Paisley, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate1888  
Item 6 of 799, High Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire, ScotlandBusiness1888 *1911 
Item 7 of 730, Robertson Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandBusiness1917 *  

* 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 2Alexander Thomson(?)(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2A & G Thomson & Turnbull(?)(?)Assistant 

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 5Alexander Caldwell ThomsonMarch 1889Before 1896Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Andrew Morell McKinlayc. 1889c. 1893Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Thomas Smith Tait1896c. 1901(?)Apprentice 
Item 4 of 5Hamilton Neil18971902Apprentice 
Item 5 of 5Thomas Smith Taitc. 1901(?)1902Assistant(?) 

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 1821884Paisley Liberal ClubPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 2 of 1821887Greenlaw Free ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandThird premiated competition design
Item 3 of 1821888Two tenements, 39 BroomlandsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 4 of 182188910 Hunterhill RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 5 of 182188912 Hunterhill RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 6 of 182188938 FergusliePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 7 of 18218896-7 CarriagehillPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations and new byre
Item 8 of 182188978 Canal StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 9 of 1821889Cottage, ChapelhillPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 10 of 1821889Cottage, ChapelhillPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 11 of 1821889Stable offices and cart entrance, 13 Thread StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 12 of 1821889Stonefield LaundryPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandStables
Item 13 of 1821889Villa, Arkleston RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 14 of 18218908 Hunterhill RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 15 of 1821890Cottage, ChapelhillPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 16 of 1821890Foundry shed, New Smithhills StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 17 of 1821890GrandstandPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations to roof
Item 18 of 1821890Licensed premises, Old SmithhillsPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 19 of 1821890Old Globe HotelPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 20 of 1821890Tenement and laundryPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 21 of 1821890Tenement, Broomlands and John StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 22 of 1821890TheatrePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 23 of 1821890Workshop, BroomlandsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 24 of 182189115 Sunnyside RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 25 of 1821891Abercorn Goods Station, machine shop and boiler shedPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 26 of 1821891Double villa, SunnysidePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 27 of 1821891House and offices, Arkleston RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 28 of 1821891Paisley County Buildings (Sheriff Court), Meeting Room and OfficesPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions
Item 29 of 1821891Paisley Skating Club, PavilionPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 30 of 1821891Sherwood Free Church and church hallPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 31 of 1821891South Parish ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 32 of 1821891Stable offices, Underwood LanePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 33 of 1821892125 Glasgow RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 34 of 182189217 Abercorn Street, stable officesPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 35 of 182189249 Moss StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 36 of 1821892Cottage, Glasgow RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 37 of 1821892Dunn Square, layoutPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 38 of 1821892Four-storey tenement, Clavering StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 39 of 1821892St George's HallsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 40 of 1821892Stables, off Well StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 41 of 1821893106 Glasgow RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 42 of 1821893Double villa, Arkleston RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 43 of 1821893Dykebar, gate lodgePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 44 of 1821893Tenement, 18 Wellmeadow StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 45 of 1821893Villa, Arkleston RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 46 of 18218946 Hunterhill RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 47 of 182189483 High StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for additions and alterations
Item 48 of 182189484 High StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for additions and alterations dated
Item 49 of 18218949 Gauze StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 50 of 1821894Thread Street UP Church HallPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 51 of 1821894Three-storey tenement, Glasgow RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 52 of 1821894Two double villas, Hawkhead RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 53 of 182Before 1894DunravenPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 54 of 1821895Double villa, Hawkhead RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 55 of 1821895Equitable Co-op premisesPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations to nos. 9 & 10 dated
Item 56 of 1821895Four-storey tenements, Caledonia StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 57 of 1821895Old Toll House BarPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 58 of 1821895Shop and tenement, Gauze Street / Incle StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 59 of 1821895Tenement, Abercorn Street / Niddry StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 60 of 1821895Tenement, stables and store, Caledonia StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 61 of 1821895Thrushcraig Works, stablesPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 62 of 1821895Villa, Greenlaw AvenuePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 63 of 1821895Villa, Greenlaw DrivePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alteration dated
Item 64 of 1821895WakefieldPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations and additions dated
Item 65 of 1821896'Abercorn House'Paisley RenfrewshireScotlandAttribution by Iona Beauly
Item 66 of 1821896Cottage for James BrownPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandMain building and additions
Item 67 of 1821896Counting house and drawing office for Thomas WhitePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 68 of 1821896Equitable Co-operative SocietyPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions
Item 69 of 1821896Stonefield LaundryPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 70 of 1821896Two four-storey tenements, Sandholes StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 71 of 182189713 Sunnyside RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 72 of 182189718 High StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations to tenement dated
Item 73 of 182189734 Canal StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlteration to shop
Item 74 of 1821897Abercorn Bowling ClubhousePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 75 of 1821897Five four-storey tenements, Sutherland Street and Brown StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 76 of 1821897Four-storey tenement, 19 Moss StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 77 of 1821897Priorscroft Bowling ClubPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandWall
Item 78 of 1821897Shop, 107 George SreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 79 of 1821897Shop, 11 Canal StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 80 of 1821897Shop, 97 CauseysidePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 81 of 1821897Shop, George StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlteration
Item 82 of 1821897Stonefield LaundryPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions
Item 83 of 1821897Tenement and shop, Mossvale StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandTenement and alterations to shop
Item 84 of 1821897Tenements, Incle StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 85 of 1821897Tenements, Maxwellton StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 86 of 1821897Three-storey tenement and Old Swan Inn, Smithhills StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 87 of 182189810 High StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for shop front dated
Item 88 of 182189813 High StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations dated
Item 89 of 1821898188 Glasgow RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 90 of 182189839 Stock StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations on licensed premises dated
Item 91 of 1821898Eight four-storey tenements, Well StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 92 of 1821898Four-storey tenement, 21 Moss StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 93 of 1821898Shop, 18 Abbey StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations dated
Item 94 of 1821898Stables and bottling stores, Glen LanePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 95 of 1821898Two four-storey tenements, 33 and 34 Well StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 96 of 182189910 Old SmithhillsPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for addition dated
Item 97 of 182189920 High StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations dated
Item 98 of 182189930 New SmithhillsPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alteration dated
Item 99 of 18218996 High StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations dated
Item 100 of 1821899Bakery, stables and stores, Back Sneddon StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 101 of 1821899Business premises, St James PlacePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 102 of 1821899St James Colour WorksPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 103 of 182190010 Moss StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 104 of 1821900Bottling stores and business premisesPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 105 of 1821900Double villa, Glasgow RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 106 of 1821900Four-storey tenement, Causeyside StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 107 of 1821900Four-storey tenement, New StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 108 of 1821900Four-storey tenement, St James StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 109 of 1821900Globe HotelPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlteration
Item 110 of 1821900Stable, Maxwellton StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 111 of 1821900Temporary premises, 3 Cotton StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 112 of 1821900Tenement and stable, Causeyside and Gordon's LanePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 113 of 1821900Tenement, Cotton StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 114 of 1821900Tenement, New StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 115 of 1821900Tenement, St James StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 116 of 1821900Three four-storey tenements, New StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 117 of 1821900Two four-storey tenementsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 118 of 1821900Two tenements, FalsidePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 119 of 1821900Villa, 14 Thornly Park AvenuePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 120 of 1821900Villa, Thornly ParkPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 121 of 1821901Four-storey tenement, 'The Hayweighs'Paisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 122 of 1821901Four-storey tenement, Causeyside StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 123 of 1821901Four-storey tenement, Causeyside StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 124 of 1821901Four-storey tenement, Causeyside StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 125 of 1821901Shop, Maxwellton Street and George StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 126 of 1821901Temporary Premises, Maxwellton StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 127 of 1821901Tenement, CauseysidePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 128 of 1821901Tenements, CauseysidePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 129 of 18219025 Wellmeadow StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 130 of 18219026 Broomlands StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlteration
Item 131 of 1821902Bakery, stables and stores, Back Sneddon StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandReconstruction of office
Item 132 of 1821902Cottage, Thornly ParkPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 133 of 1821902Double villa (or villas), Hawkhead RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 134 of 1821902Double villa, Main RoadElderslie RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 135 of 1821902Four four-storey tenements, Well StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 136 of 1821902Four-storey tenement, Causeyside StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 137 of 1821902Four-storey tenement, George StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 138 of 1821902House, Riccartsbar AvenuePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 139 of 1821902Shop and tenement, Canal StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 140 of 1821902Shop and tenement, Canal Street and CauseysidePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 141 of 1821902Tenement and 'The Afton' public housePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 142 of 1821902Tenement, CauseysidePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlteration
Item 143 of 1821902Two four-storey tenements, Maxwellton StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 144 of 1821902Two four-storey tenements, Maxwellton Street and George StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 145 of 1821902Two tenementsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 146 of 1821902Two tenements, Well StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 147 of 1821902Villa, 11 Thornly Park AvenuePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 148 of 1821903Cottage, Riccartsbar AvenuePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 149 of 1821903Eight four-storey tenements, Love Street / Albion StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 150 of 1821903Four-storey tenement, 'Harvies'Paisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 151 of 1821903Shops and tenement, Stow Street / CauseysidePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 152 of 1821903Store and office, 2 Glen StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 153 of 1821903Tenement and joiner's shop, 83 New Sneddon StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 154 of 1821903Tenement, 23 Williamsburgh and 1 East LanePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 155 of 1821904Double villa, PotterhillPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 156 of 1821904Four-storey tenement and the Turf Tavern, Orchard StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 157 of 1821904Gabriels Public House and tenement, Gauze StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 158 of 1821904Kelburn Public House and four-storey tenementPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 159 of 1821904Tenement, CarriagehillPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 160 of 1821904Tenement, CarriagehillPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 161 of 1821904Tenement, Garthland StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 162 of 1821904Three tenements, Argyle StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 163 of 1821904Three three-storey tenements and 'Charleston' public housePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 164 of 182190594 New Sneddon StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans for alterations dated
Item 165 of 1821905Four-storey tenement, Espedair StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 166 of 1821905Four-storey tenements, Broomlands StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 167 of 1821905Tenement, 7 Maxwellton StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 168 of 1821905Tenement, 83 Neilston RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 169 of 1821905Tenements, BroomlandsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 170 of 1821905Washhouses, Neilston RoadPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 171 of 182190747 Moss StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 172 of 1821907Four-storey tenements, Broomlands StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 173 of 1821907Two blocks of three-storey tenements, Old Sneddon StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 174 of 1821908Four-storey tenements, Broomlands StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 175 of 182190930 WilliamsburghPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations
Item 176 of 1821909Two four-storey tenements, Incle StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 177 of 1821909Two four-storey tenements, Neilston Road / South Campbell StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 178 of 1821910Four-storey tenements, Causeyside StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 179 of 1821910Good Templar HallsPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandConversion of main hall to cinema
Item 180 of 1821910Two four-storey tenementsPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 181 of 1821911Westmount gate lodgePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 182 of 1821914Caretaker's house, off Albion StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Beauly, Iona1996James Donald Architect 1852-1917, catalogue of works 1886-19144 volsStrathclyde University, Dept of Architecture & Building Science, Graduation Studies Special Project 
Item 2 of 3Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   
Item 3 of 3Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p12, p14, p33, p36, p37

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette11 January 1902   
Item 2 of 2Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette14 April 1917