Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Cochran Denny
Designation: Architect
Born: c. 1876
Died: 2 July 1947
Bio Notes: Alexander Cochran Denny was born c.1876, the son of Alexander Denny, writer of Dumbarton, who came of the prominent shipbuilding family of William Denny & Bros there, and his wife Marion Chalmers Mitchell. He was articled to John McLean Crawford of Dumbarton in April 1893. At the end of his apprenticeship in March 1899 he sought experience in Glasgow with Peter Macgregor Chalmers and in November of the same year moved to the office of Hippolyte Jean Blanc in Edinburgh. At some point during these early years he studied at the Glasgow & West of Scotland Technical College, although he never sat the exams. In June 1900 he returned to Dumbarton as Crawford's partner, Crawford by that time having also opened up an office in Glasgow. On 17 September of the same year Denny married Jessie Buchanan.

The partnership of Crawford & Denny was dissolved in June 1903 when Crawford gave up the Dumbarton office, working thereafter in Glasgow whilst Denny continued the Dumbarton practice independently. Denny was elected ARIBA on 4 March 1907, his proposers being Crawford, Blanc and John James Burnet.

In 1912 Denny took William John Blain into partnership. Blain had been disappointed in his hope that he might become partner in charge of John James Burnet's Glasgow office, which must have made for a difficult relationship with Norman Aitken Dick who had assumed that position in the office in 1909. Blain had been born in 1870 and articled to John Murdoch of Ayr from 1885, completing his apprenticeship with John Hutchison of Glasgow from 1889 to 1890 and remaining with the latter as assistant. In 1892, Blain joined Burnet's office where he became a legendary figure, first as one of Burnet's leading draughtsmen and then as chief assistant. He was effectively in charge of the office from 1905. Blain was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911 in preparation for entering independent practice.

Initially the practice of Denny & Blain had two offices, one at 209 St Vincent Street, quite near that of John Burnet and Sons with Blain in charge and another at 17 High Street Dumbarton where Denny was in charge, but in 1915 the practice was concentrated at 144 St Vincent Street. It was in that year that Robert Blain, presumably William's son, entered the practice as an apprentice, having initially been articled to Watson & Salmond.

In 1920 Robert Mackison McNaught, who had served his apprenticeship with the firm from 1912 and had subsequently undertaken military service followed by a year with Campbell & Hislop, returned to the practice as chief assistant and subsequently junior partner, but he left in 1925 to work for Bradshaw Gass & Hope in Bolton. Prior to this, in January 1921, Robert Blain had also been taken into partnership, having likewise returned to the practice as an assistant after war service in February 1919.

The work of the practice was predominantly cinemas and theatres. It moved to Blain's house at 11 Lockerbie Avenue, Newlands in 1942 where it seems to have petered out in 1944. Denny's interest in the practice presumably ended with that final move. He died on 2 July 1947 and the archive was acquired from Blain by Weddell & Thomson in 1955: Blain and Weddell were old friends and colleagues from their days in Burnet's Glasgow office.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6The Croft, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivate1906 *  
Item 2 of 637, Church Street, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandBusiness1907 *1913 
Item 3 of 6209, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19121915 
Item 4 of 6Westcroft, Kirktonhill, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1912After 1920 
Item 5 of 6British Linen Chambers/17, High Street, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandBusiness1914 *  
Item 6 of 6144, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1914After 1939 

* 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 5John McLean (or Maclean) CrawfordApril 1893March 1899ApprenticeLater partner (dissolved 1903)
Item 2 of 5Peter Macgregor ChalmersMarch 1899November 1899Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Hippolyte Jean BlancNovember 1899June 1900Assistant 
Item 4 of 5Crawford & DennyJune 1900June 1903Partner 
Item 5 of 5Denny & Blain19121944Partner 

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 3William Rankin19031903Assistant 
Item 2 of 3John Sibbald McKay19061911Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3Robert Mackison McNaught19121912Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Hippolyte Jean Blanc4 March 1907for Associateship
Item 2 of 3(Sir) John James Burnet4 March 1907for Associateship
Item 3 of 3John McLean (or Maclean) Crawford4 March 1907for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1William Rankin24 June 1912for Licentiateship

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 136 Drumellan HouseMaybole AyrshireScotlandUndated drawings, possibly by Denny & Blain
Item 2 of 136 Dumbarton East ParkDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandUndated drawings
Item 3 of 136 House at DunglassBowling DunbartonshireScotlandUndated drawings - may be by Denny
Item 4 of 136c. 1900129 High StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations?
Item 5 of 1361901St Mungo Works  GlasgowScotlandWorking with James S (or J) Kent?
Item 6 of 1361905Shepherd's CottageKeppoch Argyll/Inverness-shire?Scotland 
Item 7 of 1361907St Luke's Episcopal Church and parsonage and hallDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandHall
Item 8 of 1361907St Mungo Manufacturing CompanyGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 1361907Town Mission ChurchDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 10 of 136c. 1907(?)Property at Church Street and Castle StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandNo date but probably about 1907-1913
Item 11 of 1361911Notre Dame Convent and School, ClerkhillDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandUnspecified work
Item 12 of 1361911Territorial Force Association of Dumbarton, East Princes StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandAdditional storey
Item 13 of 1361912Brock Memorial BathsDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 14 of 1361912Dumbarton Combination PoorhouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations/additions? - may be by Denny alone.
Item 15 of 1361912Dumbarton Combination PoorhouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandWaterworks
Item 16 of 1361912Leven ShipyardDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 17 of 1361912Wellington PalaceGorbals GlasgowScotlandAlterations?
Item 18 of 136After 1912103 High StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 19 of 136After 1912311 Argyle Street and 83 Robertson Street  GlasgowScotlandDate of work not known
Item 20 of 136After 1912Alloa Ship Yard OfficesAlloa ClackmannanshireScotlandDrawings not dated or signed
Item 21 of 136After 1912Clydesdale BankDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandDrawings not signed - may not be Denny and Blain
Item 22 of 136After 1912(?)Coatbridge Picture HouseCoatbridge LanarkshireScotlandMay be architects? Drawing not signed
Item 23 of 136After 1912(?)Dumbarton Co-operative Society Central PremisesDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandNew build? Drawings not dated. May be by Denny alone
Item 24 of 136c. 1912HelensleeDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandDrawing not dated. May be solely by Denny. Probably addition.
Item 25 of 1361913Alexandria Picture HouseAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 26 of 1361913Conservative Club  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 27 of 1361913DunstaneDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 28 of 1361913Villa, Stirling RoadDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 29 of 1361914135-137 High StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandMay be by Denny and Blain
Item 30 of 1361914Dixon StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 31 of 1361914Dumbarton Combination PoorhouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations
Item 32 of 1361914Notre Dame Convent and School, ClerkhillDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 33 of 1361914RockleaHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandBedroom extension
Item 34 of 1361915Garage at Greenhead RoadDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 35 of 1361915Offices at Marshall, Fleming and CoMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 36 of 1361915Workmen's Mess Room, Leven ShipyardDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 37 of 136After 1915186 Nithsdale RoadPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 38 of 136After 191521 Bath Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 39 of 136After 1915262 North Woodside Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 136After 19153, 4 and 5 Claremont Terrace  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and perhaps further work
Item 41 of 136After 1915Alloa Picture HouseAlloa ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 42 of 136After 1915Bankier DistilleryCastlecary StirlingshireScotlandWork including cottages
Item 43 of 136After 1915BungalowUddingston LanarkshireScotland 
Item 44 of 136After 1915Crosslet Farm, CottageDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 45 of 136After 1915Falkirk Pavilion CinemaFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 46 of 136After 1915Garage at Centre StreetWhiteinch GlasgowScotland 
Item 47 of 136After 1915Garrion TowerWishaw LanarkshireScotlandUnspecified work
Item 48 of 136After 1915Gourock Picture HouseGourock RenfrewshireScotlandDrawings not dated
Item 49 of 136After 1915LoganleaDunblane PerthshireScotland 
Item 50 of 136After 1915MachriemoreMaybole AyrshireScotland 
Item 51 of 136Before 19151309-11 Duke Street  GlasgowScotlandDrawings not dated
Item 52 of 136Before 1915Cardross SchoolCardross DunbartonshireScotlandDrawings not dated
Item 53 of 136Before 1915Garage at Pollokshaws RoadPollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 54 of 136191628-30 High StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 55 of 136191632-34 High StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandMay be architects? Drawing not signed
Item 56 of 1361916Cooperage, Hyde Park Street  London?England 
Item 57 of 1361916Hunter Street  GlasgowScotlandUnspecified work
Item 58 of 1361916Mid Gartocharn FarmGartocharn DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 59 of 1361916Springbank InnDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandMay be by Denny and Blain - drawing not signed
Item 60 of 1361916Troon Picture HouseTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations?
Item 61 of 1361919Ambulance GarageDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 62 of 1361919Brock Memorial BathsDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandFurther work
Item 63 of 1361919La Scala Picture HouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 64 of 1361920Dixon StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations
Item 65 of 1361920Dunbritton HouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 66 of 1361920Picture House for Kilbirnie DistrictKilbirnie AyrshireScotland 
Item 67 of 136Before 1920Dailly UF ChurchDailly AyrshireScotland 
Item 68 of 136Before 1920Three villasGiffnock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 69 of 1361921Cinema House  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 70 of 1361921Imperial HotelOban ArgyllScotlandAlterations to form baker's shop and tearoom
Item 71 of 136After 1921(?)Parade CinemaDennistoun GlasgowScotlandAlterations? Called 'New Parade Cinema'
Item 72 of 1361922Clubhouse for Dumbarton Bowling ClubDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 73 of 1361922Cottages, DumbartonDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 74 of 1361922Dumbarton Co-operative SocietyDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 75 of 1361923Bungalow, HelensburghHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 76 of 1361924101 High StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 77 of 1361924Broomhill GarageHyndland GlasgowScotland 
Item 78 of 1361924BungalowWhiting BayArranButeScotland 
Item 79 of 1361924Ex-Servicemen's ClubDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandMay be architects? Drawing not signed
Item 80 of 1361924Kilbirnie Picture HouseKilbirnie AyrshireScotland 
Item 81 of 1361924McGrouther's PropertyDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations?
Item 82 of 1361924Parish Council ChambersDalmuir DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 83 of 1361924(?)Rialto Picture HouseKirkcaldy FifeScotlandDrawings not signed, but may be by Denny & Blain
Item 84 of 1361925205 Wilton StreetKelvinside GlasgowScotland 
Item 85 of 1361925(?)McLetchie's PropertyDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandMay be architects? Drawing not signed
Item 86 of 1361926King's Theatre  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 87 of 1361926MachriemoreMaybole AyrshireScotlandFurther work
Item 88 of 1361927104 South Brae AvenueJordanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 89 of 136192754 Main StreetDuntocher DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 90 of 1361927Cairndow HotelCairndow ArgyllScotland 
Item 91 of 1361927Church at KilmorichCairndow ArgyllScotland 
Item 92 of 1361927Cottage at CairndowCairndow ArgyllScotland 
Item 93 of 1361927Garage at RavencourtCathcart GlasgowScotland 
Item 94 of 1361927Garage, Pitt Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 95 of 1361927Overtoun Estate, Maryland FarmDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 96 of 1361927Public HallDuntocher DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 97 of 1361928Blue Vale Tavern  GlasgowScotland 
Item 98 of 1361928Hyndland Public School  GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 99 of 1361928Tivoli Picture HousePartick GlasgowScotland 
Item 100 of 136Before 1928(?)Kirkintilloch Picture HouseKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandMay be by Denny and Blain; drawings not signed or dated
Item 101 of 1361929Central Hall Picture HouseInverness Inverness-shireScotlandAlterations? New cinema?
Item 102 of 1361929Kelso's La Scala CinemaInverness Inverness-shireScotlandAlterations?
Item 103 of 1361929Picture House, Cumbernauld Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 104 of 1361930CinemaOban ArgyllScotlandAlterations to accommodate sound reproducing plant
Item 105 of 1361930Dumbarton Masonic LodgeDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 106 of 1361930NorthcoteTurnberry AyrshireScotland 
Item 107 of 1361930Oban Picture HouseOban ArgyllScotland 
Item 108 of 1361930PlayhouseGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 109 of 136193160 George StreetOban ArgyllScotland 
Item 110 of 1361931Garage for Cowie and Sons LtdTurnberry AyrshireScotlandProbably Denny & Blain
Item 111 of 1361931Glasgow and West of Scotland Foot Hospital  GlasgowScotland 
Item 112 of 1361931High Street and Quay StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 113 of 1361931New Trades School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 114 of 1361932300 Dobbie's Loan  GlasgowScotland 
Item 115 of 1361932County RestaurantDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 116 of 1361932House for Mr PorterBurnside GlasgowScotland 
Item 117 of 1361933St Charles RC School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 118 of 1361934Property at Church StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 119 of 136193685 College Street and 42 Risk StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 120 of 1361936Berkeley Restaurant  GlasgowScotlandUnspecified work
Item 121 of 1361936Community CentreDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 122 of 1361936Dumbarton Combination PoorhouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations and/or additions - plans dated
Item 123 of 1361936House for William C MeikleEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 124 of 1361936Torrance EstateEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotlandSite plan drawn up
Item 125 of 136193878 Langside Avenue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 126 of 1361938Boathouse   Scotland 
Item 127 of 1361938BogheadDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 128 of 1361938Meadow Park Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 129 of 1361938Victoria BarClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 130 of 1361939236 Smithycroft Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 131 of 136193943 Church StreetDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 132 of 1361939Kirkintilloch Town Hall and Municipal BuildingsKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations?
Item 133 of 1361939Tulliallan HouseEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 134 of 1361940ThistlebankDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 135 of 136After 1942311 Bell Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 136 of 136194426 India Street  GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   
Item 2 of 4Who's Who in Architecture1914    
Item 3 of 4Who's Who in Architecture1923    
Item 4 of 4Who's Who in Architecture1926    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research by Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v17 p60 (microfilm reel 19)