Basic Biographical Details

Name: Wylie & Lochhead
Bio Notes: William Lochhead was born in 1796, the son of a cabinetmaker and undertaker in Saltmarket, and presumably learned architectural draughtsmanship as a furniture designer. In 1825 he married Janet Downie whose mother Mrs Robert Downie had extensive property in Saltmarket and Bell Street. In 1827 Mrs Downie died leaving her properties to her daughters Margaret and Janet but entrusting the administration of her estate to Lochhead rather than to the slightly younger feather merchant Robert Wylie who had married her elder daughter Margaret in 1824.

In 1828 Lochhead advanced £150 of Mrs Downie's money to Wylie to expand his business, and in September 1829 he gave up his partnership in his father's business to join Lochhead, initially in a large second-floor flat at 164 Trongate, the business of Wylie & Lochhead now embracing undertaking, hiring and catering as well as feathers. In 1833 the partners bought the whole of the upper part of 164 Trongate and in 1837 a shop and first-floor flat at 160 Trongate. By that date the business had expanded still further to embrace cabinetmaking, upholstery, wallpaper and even an omnibus service to Rutherglen.

In 1844 a site for a new department store was obtained at 28 Argyle Street but before construction began 160-164 Trongate was burnt down. The new store was presumably designed by Lochhead like their two subsequent stores and was of very advanced design with an all-glass and iron façade within an architrave frame at first and second floor, a design which formed the model for James Sellars's Queen Insurance Building some thirty years later. It opened in May 1846 and was extended back into Virginia Street in 1848.

In 1854 Wylie & Lochhead decided to move to Buchanan Street where a very large new department store was built to Lochhead's design in 1854-5. This too was of very advanced design, iron-framed with three floors of galleries and an arched roof, 200 feet deep and 70 feet high, modelled on the Crystal Palace and perhaps also on John Burnet's exactly contemporary warehouse in Miller Street. Its façade was largely of iron and glass between narrow masonry piers with Corinthian pilasters, and it had a steam-powered elevator. In 1855 an equally large warehouse was built behind it on Union Street, partly to house the funeral department. This was again designed by Lochhead and was of even more logical design, divided into broad cast-iron and glass bays by superimposed masonry columns.

In December 1863 Lochhead's son William died. This ended a long-running disagreement between the partners over Wylie's son-in-law Archibald Hill whom Wylie had wished to take into partnership as early as 1843, and over their sons' respective shares in the business. Lochhead withdrew in 1864, and died in 1875. Although he is not known to have designed any buildings other than the three he erected for the partnership, and must have co-operated closely with an engineer ironfounder such as Robert McConnell, he was one of the most innovative of mid-nineteenth-century Scottish architects.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness   

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Andrew Ednie    
Item 2 of 3William LochheadSeptember 18291864Partner 
Item 3 of 3John EdnieAfter 1903Before 1926 Principal designer

Buildings and Designs

This 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 1 8-13 Blythswood Square  GlasgowScotlandPanelling


Currently, there are no references for this . 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.