Basic Biographical Details

Name: Patrick Geddes
Born: 2 October 1854
Died: 17 April 1932
Bio Notes: Patrick Geddes was born on 2 October 1854, the son of Alexander Geddes, soldier and his wife Janet Stevenson. He was a biologist and was a professor at the University of Edinburgh. Geddes' influential theories on civic planning, such as the importance of diagnostic survey as the vital first stage of planning and the planning of a city in its wider surroundings, helped to shape the 20th century development of planning and architecture in Britain, disseminated by practitioners in the field such as Raymond Unwin, Patrick Abercrombie and Geddes’ son-in-law, Frank Mears.

Geddes actively campaigned for the protection and enhancement of historic Edinburgh, arguing that ‘the spirit and individuality of our city, its personality and character’ was vital for human self-fulfilment. For example, he founded the Town & Gown University Settlement with the object of creating staff and student residences within the Old Town. Sometime late in 1891 Stewart Henbest Capper became associated with him, and this resulted in the Ramsay Garden, Riddles Court, James Court and Blackie House development. Geddes hoped to extend the concept to Glasgow and, probably at Capper's suggestion, wrote to John James Burnet who asked to see the Settlement's accounts before taking the matter further. The association between Geddes and Capper ended in 1896 when Capper left to take up the position of first professor of architecture at McGill University, Montreal. Sydney Mitchell completed the Ramsay Garden project, and Geddes then formed a similar association with the much older George Shaw Aitken who undertook the restoration of Lady Stair's House for Lord Rosebery at Geddes' suggestion and provided architectural advice on the projects on which Geddes was consulted.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Outlook Tower, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business   
Item 2 of 3Ramsay Garden, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business   
Item 3 of 3College des Ecossais, Montperier, FranceBusiness 1932 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Geddes & CapperLate 18911896Partner 

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 1(Sir) Frank Charles Mears19081910Assistant 

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 13 11-15 Canongate  Edinburgh Improvements
Item 2 of 13189213-16 Ramsay Garden  EdinburghScotlandWith Stewart Henbest Capper as architect
Item 3 of 131892453-461 Lawnmarket, Robbie Burns Land  EdinburghScotlandRebuilding incorporating earlier fabric - with Stewart Henbest Capper as architect
Item 4 of 131892493-495 Lawnmarket  EdinburghScotlandRemodelling - with Stewart Henbest Capper as architect
Item 5 of 13189311-12 Ramsay Garden, University Hall  EdinburghScotlandInitially with Stewart Henbest Capper as architect; taken over by Sydney Mitchell & Wilson: Capper may have suffered from one of his frequent bouts of ill-health
Item 6 of 131893Riddle's Court and Close, 322-328 Lawnmarket and 5-6 Victoria Terrace  EdinburghScotlandRestoration and conversion to hall of residence - with Stewart Henbest Capper as architect
Item 7 of 131894Blackie House, Wardrop's Close, Lawnmarket  EdinburghScotlandRestoration - with Stewart Henbest Capper as architect
Item 8 of 131895Riddle's Court and Close, 322-328 Lawnmarket and 5-6 Victoria Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations including pend entrance - with George Shaw Aitken as architect
Item 9 of 131904Plan for DunfermlineDunfermline    
Item 10 of 131905Pittencrieff Park, proposed layoutDunfermline FifeScotlandDesign (rejected)
Item 11 of 131913Scottish National Zoological Park  EdinburghScotlandLay out - with Frank Mears
Item 12 of 131919Hebrew University  JerusalemPalestineDesigned in association with Frank Charles Mears
Item 13 of 131922Scheme for the Bahai Community  AllahabadIndiaWirth Frank Mears


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 5Boardman, Philip1978The Worlds of Patrick Geddes: Biologist, Town Planner, Re-educator,
 London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 
Item 2 of 5DNB Dictionary of National Biography   
Item 3 of 5Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp1
Item 4 of 5Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingp27
Item 5 of 5Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp9