Basic Biographical Details

Name: Salmon, Son & Gillespie
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: November 1903
Ended: June 1913
Bio Notes: William Forrest Salmon was born in 1843, the elder son of James Salmon, architect, Glasgow and his wife Helen Russell. He continued his father's practice of James Salmon & Son after the latter's death in 1888. In 1891 Forrest Salmon engaged John Gaff Gillespie (b. 1870), who had been articled to James Milne Monro c.1884, concurrently attending classes at Glasgow School of Art, and had won the Glasgow Institute of Architects prize in 1889 jointly with Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Like Mackintosh at Honeyman & Keppie, Gillespie was given design responsibility very early, notably at the free Flemish Renaissance Scottish Temperance League building in 1893 and the West of Scotland Convalescent Seaside Homes at Dunoon in 1895. In that same year, Gillespie was taken into partnership, the everyday work of the practice having grown as a result of Forrest having secured some of the business of the British Linen Bank, whose architects were usually J M Dick Peddie & Washington Browne.

Forrest Salmon's elder son James (b. 1873), who had begun his apprenticeship in the family firm but completed it in Leiper's office, returned to the office in March 1895 after completing a Grand Tour of the continent given to him by his father as a twenty-first birthday present (the tour is partly chronicled in watercolours in the Salmon collection at NMRS made between April and July of that year). Leiper's influence on Salmon was to remain marked in both commercial and domestic work.

James Junior worked under his father and Gillespie for rather more than two years, being given much of the design responsibility for Mercantile Chambers on Bothwell Street, a huge project in which the Salmons had a financial interest and which was to become their office. He became a partner in 1898, but for the next few years and even beyond the individual design responsibilities of Gillespie and James Junior are not always easy to separate. Their names were not acknowledged in the practice title until November 1903 when the firm became Salmon Son & Gillespie.

By that date there had been domestic changes in the Salmon family. On 11 June 1889 Forrest, whose first wife Jessie (mother of James Junior) had died in 1887, married Agnes Cooper Barry, the daughter of a Forfar grocer who lived with her brother the Reverend James Cooper Barry, a civil engineer who had switched career to become a Free Church minister in 1882 and had obtained the charge of the North Free Church at Dumbarton. Neither Forrest's formidable elder sister Wilhelmina nor his sons took to Agnes, always referring to her as 'Steppy'. In 1898 the Salmon family moved to the newly built Rowantreehill at Kilmacolm where they rapidly acquired a significant domestic clientele.

In his later years Forrest became prominent in professional matters as a Governor of Glasgow School of Art, President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects 1892-94, and a member of the RIBA Council. It was probably due to his influence that Gillespie and James Junior were admitted directly to Fellowship of the RIBA on 3 December 1906, Gillespie's proposers being Monro, Thomas Lennox Watson, Leiper and Forrest Salmon, and James's Leiper, John James Burnet, Watson and his father. By 1906 both Gillespie and James Junior had travelled extensively. Gillespie's nomination paper records travel in Italy, Spain and Morocco, and that of James Junior travel in Norway, Holland (1904), Romania, Austria and Hungary (1904), France (1894 and 1906), Switzerland (1894), Spain, Italy (1894 and 1904), Greece and Turkey (probably 1904). Sketches and photographs preserved in the Salmon collection at NMRS have left his travels well documented.

By the early 1900s Gillespie and Salmon's styles had begun to diverge, Gillespie's work tending to be a simplified free classic and Salmon's still a sculpturesque art nouveau as seen in the alternative elevational treatments in the competition for the new Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College competition of 1901, both partners adopting a highly simplified arts and crafts style for domestic, cottage hospital and golf clubhouse work. But from 1904 when they received the commission for Lion Chambers both Gillespie and James Junior had become interested in the possibilities of reinforced concrete, working closely with the structural engineer Louis Gustave Mouchel, the British-based representative of Francois Hennebique. Within the firm Forrest seems to have been responsible for the 'scheming out' of commissions, the detailed design work being delegated to Gillespie or to his son James. Forrest was latterly known as the commercial traveller adept at moving in Parish Council School Board and clubland circles to obtain directly commissioned work for the practice which spent much of its time on designs for national and local competitions, none of which it succeeded in actually winning until 1908 when William Leiper selected their design for Stirling Municipal Buildings which was mainly Gillespie's work. Construction was, however, some years away and in the summer of 1911 Forrest began to suffer from cancer. He died at Rowantreehill on 7 October. By his own wish he was buried with his first wife and the Scott Mortons at Merchiston Cemetery, Edinburgh. He left moveable estate of 7,008 11s. 4d..

While the Finance Act of 1909 had probably affected the prosperity of the practice as it had so many others, Forrest Salmon's will proved the catalyst for the dissolution of the partnership in June 1913. Forrest's will made no provision for James to inherit his share of the practice. It remained part of his trust estate and entitled 'Steppy' to a share of such profits as the firm had at that time. Gillespie now became senior partner and as James Junior had spent all his income on foreign travel and motoring (as a letter to his brother Hugh of 18 August 1910 records) he could not afford to buy out either Gillespie or his stepmother. Gillespie bought out Agnes's trust estate interest, retaining the office in Mercantile Chambers, the archive (which was later sent for pulping when his successor Jack Antonio Coia was interned in 1940) and the Stirling commission. James moved out to a rented flat at 48 Jane Street, Blythswood Square which was both home and office, apparently without even a secretary. He retained the commission received in 1909 for the Admiralty Village at Cove Farm, Greenock of which only a few houses had been built in 1910, and was allowed to revive the name of the firm as it had existed prior to 1903, James Salmon & Son, later abbreviated simply to James Salmon FRIBA.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Mercantile Chambers/53, Bothwell Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1904After 1906 

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 15George Boag BairdAugust 19011905Apprentice 
Item 2 of 15Vernon ConstableNovember 19031904Apprentice 
Item 3 of 15John Whitelaw LockhartNovember 19031904Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 15Archibald ScottNovember 19031905Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 15William Forrest SalmonNovember 19031911Partner 
Item 6 of 15William Alexander KiddNovember 1903Before 1911Draughtsman(?) 
Item 7 of 15John Gaff GillespieNovember 1903June 1913Partner 
Item 8 of 15James Salmon (junior)November 1903June 1913Partner 
Item 9 of 15Vernon Constable1904May 1906Assistant 
Item 10 of 15Charles Alfred Harding19041909Apprentice 
Item 11 of 15George Boag Baird19051906Assistant 
Item 12 of 15David Arthur Carmichael19081912Apprentice 
Item 13 of 15William Alexander KiddBefore 1911June 1913Chief Draughtsman 
Item 14 of 15William Allan Mollison1912June 1913Assistant 
Item 15 of 15John (Ian) Shaw BoydMay 1912December 1912Draughtsman 

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 69190322 Park Circus  GlasgowScotlandInteriors - internal alterations, including billiard room (1905)
Item 2 of 691903Cranstonhill Bakeries  GlasgowScotlandPartial remodelling
Item 3 of 691903Elgin Place Mission Halls  GlasgowScotlandCompetition entry - unsuccessful
Item 4 of 691903Gallowhill House, Motor Car House and Chauffeur's HousePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 5 of 691903Hamilton Municipal Buildings and Public LibraryHamilton LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 6 of 691903Lanfine Cottage Home for Consumptives, BroomhillKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandBuilt to revised plans
Item 7 of 691903Plantation Bakery  GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 8 of 691903Renfrew Parish Church HallsRenfrew RenfrewshireScotlandCompetition entry - not successful
Item 9 of 691903Tenements, Dale Street  GlasgowScotlandToilet addition
Item 10 of 69November 1903Barony Parochial AsylumLenzie LanarkshireScotlandNurses' quarters and pathological unit
Item 11 of 69After November 1903(?)Interior work for R Hunter Craig MP   ScotlandExact date not known, therefore it is not clear whether it was done under James Salmon & Son or Salmon Son & Gillespie
Item 12 of 691904Catholic Apostolic Church  GlasgowScotlandBaptistery and new aisle
Item 13 of 691904Kirkintilloch Town Hall and Municipal BuildingsKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 14 of 691904Lion Chambers, Hope Street  GlasgowScotlandWith Louis Gustave Mouchel of the Yorkshire Hennebique Company as structural engineer
Item 15 of 691904MiyanoshitaKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 16 of 691904St Peter's Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 691904WalfordPrestonpans East LothianScotlandAdditions
Item 18 of 69190588 West Regent Street  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and extension
Item 19 of 691905British Linen BankThurso CaithnessScotlandAlterations
Item 20 of 691905British Linen BankStromnessMainlandOrkneyScotland 
Item 21 of 691905British Linen BankKirkwallMainlandOrkneyScotland 
Item 22 of 691905CottageKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 23 of 691905Cottages at BrechinBrechin AngusScotland 
Item 24 of 691905Den O' GryffeKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotlandOriginal house
Item 25 of 691905Mitchell Library  GlasgowScotlandCompetition entry - not successful
Item 26 of 691905North LodgeEdzell AngusScotland 
Item 27 of 691905Workshop and studio for William NicolMount Florida GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 691906BolfraxGiffnock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 29 of 691906British Linen Bank Head Office  GlasgowScotlandNew telling room
Item 30 of 691906Campbell's Music Salon  GlasgowScotlandProposed alterations
Item 31 of 691906Cartsburn Public SchoolGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 32 of 691906DilkushKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 33 of 691906NorthernhayKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotlandExtension
Item 34 of 691907Den O' GryffeKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotlandExtension
Item 35 of 691907Dunoon HydropathicDunoon ArgyllScotlandAlterations to kitchen and new wing
Item 36 of 691907HoughtonKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotlandNew porch
Item 37 of 691907Liberal Club  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 38 of 691907London County Hall  LondonEnglandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 39 of 691907Nether KnockbuckleKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 40 of 691907Perth Town HallPerth PerthshireScotlandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 41 of 691907Stable, Winton AvenueGiffnock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 42 of 691907Ten workmen's cottages, Garthamlock and Queenslie CollieryShettleston GlasgowScotland 
Item 43 of 691908BakeryStranraer WigtownshireScotland 
Item 44 of 691908Bakery for J & B Stevenson  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to bakery
Item 45 of 691908Blantyre Cottage HospitalBlantyre LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 46 of 691908Glamorgan County Buildings  CardiffWalesCompetition design - not successful
Item 47 of 691908Industrial shelterPossilpark GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 48 of 691908Kilmacolm Golf ClubKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotlandToolhouse, shelter and landscaping works
Item 49 of 691908Stirling Municipal BuildingsStirling StirlingshireScotlandWon competition and secured job (building later completed by Gillespie after dissolution of partnership)
Item 50 of 691909AuchendouneDoune PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 51 of 691909Co-ownership cottagesKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 52 of 691909Cove Farm Garden SuburbGourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 53 of 691909Ferro Concrete shop and offices   ScotlandCompetition design
Item 54 of 691909Hamilton Academy (and house at school)Hamilton LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 55 of 691909Offices for the Scottish Assurance Company  GlasgowScotland 
Item 56 of 691909Rutherglen Town HallRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design for extension - not successful (extension not built)
Item 57 of 691909VellorePolmont StirlingshireScotlandAddition of laundry
Item 58 of 6919106 Cathedral Square  GlasgowScotlandAlterations - new chimneypiece
Item 59 of 691910Ashfield, Central Avenue, Beech AvenueCambuslang LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 60 of 691910Offices, 36 Oswald Street and Ann Street  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 61 of 691910Offices, Blochairn Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 62 of 69191115 Park Gardens SouthPartick GlasgowScotlandHearth and stained glass work
Item 63 of 691911Bakery for J & B Stevenson  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to bakery
Item 64 of 691911DrumlanrigPollokshields GlasgowScotlandRedecoration and heating
Item 65 of 691911Housing Blackley EstateBlackley ManchesterEnglandArchitectural Competition Third place, 50 premium.
Item 66 of 691911Pollok Golf ClubPollok Estate GlasgowScotlandGillespie mainly responsible for clubhouse
Item 67 of 691912Cranstonhill Bakeries  GlasgowScotlandNew bakery
Item 68 of 691912London Road UF Church Hall  GlasgowScotlandHall and offices
Item 69 of 6919131 North Park Terrace  GlasgowScotlandInstallation of electric light

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 7Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp145 Lion Chambers
Item 2 of 7Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary  pp316-18
Item 3 of 7Miles Glendinning, Diane Watters, David Whitham Docomomo Scotland Leaflet  p227 Image of Lion Chambers
Item 4 of 7O'Donnell, Raymond2003The life and work of James Salmon architect, 1873-1924 Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 5 of 7Walker, David M1966Salmon, Son, Grandson and Gillespie Scottish Art Review, vol. X, no. 3, pp. 17-29 
Item 6 of 7Walker, David M1975The Partnership Of James Salmon And John Gaff Gillespie Service, A (ed.): Edwardian Architecture and its Origins (London: Architectural Press, 1975), 236-49 
Item 7 of 7Walker, David W1995The Salmon Collection Unpublished: copy in NMRSDSA text is adapted from this source