Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Garden Forgie
Designation: Architect
Born: 1893 or 1894
Died: 20 September 1959(?)
Bio Notes: Alexander Garden Forgie was born in 1893 or 1894 and was articled to Francis William Deas of Edinburgh for five years from 7 February 1909, attending classes at the Edinburgh College of Art and Heriot-Watt College. He remained with Deas as an assistant, returning to the same office after undertaking war service from 1915 to 1919 for which he was awarded the Military Cross. In October of the latter year he moved to Sheffield where he studied at the University whilst working as an assistant in the City Architect's Department. He returned to Scotland in 1920 to enter the Dundee City Engineer's Office, and late that year or early the next was admitted ARIBA under the war exemption scheme, his proposers being John Watson, James Thomson and Deas, who wrote of him in his supporting statement: 'I have always found him & heard of him from his teachers as an intelligent & most industrious pupil.'

Forgie returned to Edinburgh in 1925 as chief assistant to the City Architect, Mr. E. J. MacRae. Forgie was deputy from 1930 to Ebeneezer Macrae, City Architect of Edinburgh, and took over as City Architect in 1946. He was passionately interested in Edinburgh and did 'a tremendous amount to preserve the character of the oldest parts of the city', accoording to his obituarist. He was associated with most of the large works undertaken by Edinburgh Corporation between the wars, his biggest contribution being Portobello Power Station and his most satisfactory works the reconstruction and renovation of buildings in the Royal Mile.

He was overtaken by illness in 1950 and retired in 1953. He died on 20 September 1959, aged 65.

MM, DA (Edin), ARIBA

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4c/o Miss Rutherford, 18, Springfield, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate1920 *  
Item 2 of 433, Summerside Place, Leith, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1920  
Item 3 of 47, Braidburn Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1929c. 1931 
Item 4 of 4Municipal Chambers, Parliament Square, High Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1954 *  

* 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 7Francis William Deas7 February 19091914Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Francis William Deas19141919AssistantWith the exception of war service, 1915-1919
Item 3 of 7Sheffield City Architect's Department19191920Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Dundee Burgh Engineer's Office/Dundee City Engineer's Office1920Before 1930Assistant 
Item 5 of 7Edinburgh City Architect's Department (Edinburgh Corporation)1930July 1946ArchitectAs Deputy to Ebenezer James MacRae, City Architect
Item 6 of 7Ebenezer James MacRae1930July 1946 As Deputy Architect, in Edinburgh City Architect's Department
Item 7 of 7Edinburgh City Architect's Department (Edinburgh Corporation)July 19461953Chief ArchitectCity Architect - retirement year from journal entry (Builder 11 April 1952), which refers to his succession by Alexander Steele

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Francis William DeasLate 1920 or early 1921for Associateship
Item 2 of 3James ThomsonLate 1920 or early 1921for Associateship
Item 3 of 3John WatsonLate 1920 or early 1921for Associateship

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 20 Housing Scheme, Maidencraig Court and Queensferry Road  EdinburghScotlandLocal Authority
Item 2 of 20c. 1939Portobello Power StationPortobello EdinburghScotlandDesign only? Not executed?
Item 3 of 201948130 “Orlit” Houses, Saughton Mains EstateSaughton Mains  Edinburgh City Architect
Item 4 of 201948Duddingston School  EdinburghScotlandNew classrooms
Item 5 of 201948Moredun Housing Estate Moredun EdinburghScotlandCity architect for scheme comprising 830 houses and 22 shops
Item 6 of 201948School BuildingsColinton Mains Edinburgh City Architect
Item 7 of 201950Catholic School, InchInch EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 201950Primary School, MoredunMoredun EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 201950Primary School, Old SaughtonOld Saughton EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 201950Senior Secondary School, New InchNew Inch EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 201950Southhouse Primary SchoolSouthhouse EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 201950St David's Catholic SchoolWest Pilton EdinburghScotlandTo prepare plans
Item 13 of 201951Housing, Drylaw Mains SouthDrylaw Mains EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 201951Public School, Lampaen RoadCarrick Knave EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 20April 1951Remand Home, Edinburgh Road  EdinburghScotlandAs City Architect
Item 16 of 201952Edinburgh Corporation Housing, Inch SiteLiberton EdinburghScotlandAs City Architect
Item 17 of 2024 October 1952House of Nisbet of Dirleton, Canongate  EdinburghScotlandPrepared plans for alterations
Item 18 of 201953Premises of Youth Employment Services, Cornwall Street  EdinburghScotlandPlans in hand for reconstruction and additions - as City Architect
Item 19 of 201954Housing development, OxgangsOxgangs EdinburghScotlandAs City Architect - laid out for development
Item 20 of 208 January 1954Corporation Housing, Greendykes Avenue and Niddrie Mains Road Site  EdinburghScotlandScheme of houses - as City Architect

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 17Builder13 January 1950  p86
Item 2 of 17Builder14 April 1950  p505
Item 3 of 17Builder7 April 1950  p472
Item 4 of 17Builder19 May 1950  p692
Item 5 of 17Builder16 June 1950  p825
Item 6 of 17Builder9 June 1950  p793
Item 7 of 17Builder15 April 1951  p534
Item 8 of 17Builder16 November 1951  p696
Item 9 of 17Builder2 November 1951  p605
Item 10 of 17Builder30 November 1951  p773
Item 11 of 17Builder11 April 1952  p542 (notes his impending retirement, and confirms Alexander Steele as his successor)
Item 12 of 17Builder29 August 1952  p313
Item 13 of 17Builder24 October 1952  p596
Item 14 of 17Builder29 May 1953  p849
Item 15 of 17Builder8 January 1954  p77
Item 16 of 17Builder2 October 1959  'Obituary - Alexander G. Forgie, ARIBA' p349
Item 17 of 17RIBA JournalFebruary 1960 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p145 (by Alexander Steele, City Architect)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no3138 (microfilm reel 25)