Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||David Paton Low |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||1827 |
|Died: ||23 December 1910 |
|Bio Notes: ||David Paton Low was born at Kirkton Mains Farm or Mains of Strathmartin, near Dundee, in 1827, the son of David Low, farmer and Margaret Paton. He worked in the office of an unspecified Dundee architect and in either 1858 or 1863 (sources vary) won the Soane Medallion - only the second Scot to do so (James Maclaren, also from Dundee had been the first in 1850) - with a design for a marine sanatorium. This award enabled him to study classical architecture in Italy, commemorated by an ambitious watercolour, 'The Cosmical Development of Gothic and Classic Architecture during the Pagan and Christian Eras'. |
In 1859 he formed a partnership, perhaps a tentative one, with John Haig, their office being at 149 West George Street, Glasgow. Haig & Low immediately achieved prominence when they won third place in the Wallace Monument competition in that year. In 1862 Low took leave of absence from the partnership to gain experience in London with the object of challenging comparison with any of the leading architects in Scotland, obtaining a place in the office of 'Mr Godwin' (presumably George rather than Edward William).
Although the partnership's East Campbell Street Church, Glasgow of 1862-64 was an extremely accomplished cinquecento design, its early success was not sustained. They had few clients and Low's ambitious proposal to rebuild St Mary's Church ni Buchanan Street as municipal buildings as an alternative to Clarke & Bell's Ingram Street scheme does not seem to have been taken seriously. A misreading of the practice title appears to have caused the firm to be misrecorded as Hay & Son in the 'Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory' of 1868, when they were still at 149 West George Street; the following year they were based at 94 West Regent Street.
In 1875 they moved their practice to Alexander Thomson's building at 122 Wellington Street but within a year the partnership had been dissolved, Haig returning to their former office at 108 Hope Street to continue practice there and Low opening another office at 219 Hope Street, where he practised as a watercolour painter as well as an architect. In 1883, in what was probably a reprise of his municipal buildings, he exhibited a scheme for demolishing St George's Church and turning its tower into a triumphal arch. It was his last exhibit, although he was not to retire until 1889.
Low was a member of the Fine Art Institute in Glasgow and an active member of the Angus & Mearns Benevolent Association, which suggests that he may have had some private means. He married Margaret M Batchelor of Dundee (born c.1829).
He died of arterial sclerosis at 38 Landsdowne Crescent, Glasgow on 23 December 1910, aged eighty-two, leaving two married daughters, one of whom, Annie R Low, had been born c.1870 and was living in the parental home at the time of the 1891 census.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|149, West George Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1859||1868 or 1869|| |
|94, West Regent Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1868 or 1869|| || |
|122, Wellington Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1874 *|| || |
|108, Hope Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1875 *|| || |
|219, Hope Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||Before 1879||After 1889|| |
|13, Bothwell Terrace, Glasgow, Scotland||Private||1880 *|| || |
|23, Lansdowne Crescent, Glasgow, Scotland||Private||1888 *||1894|| |
|38, Lansdowne Crescent, Glasgow, Scotland||Private||Before 1899||1910|| |
* 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):|
| ||Name||Date from||Date to||Position||Notes|
|Haig & Low||1859||1875 or 1876||Partner|| |
|George Godwin||1862(?)|| ||Assistant(?)||Low worked for 'Mr Godwin', probably George Godwin|
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Post Office Directories|| || || || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||31 December 1910||v 99|| ||p813 - obituary|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Research by Iain Paterson|