Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Stewart Johnston
Designation: Architect
Born: 22 April 1901
Died: 1 April 1992
Bio Notes: James Stewart Johnston was born on 22 April 1901, the elder son of architect Joseph Marr Johnston and his wife Mary Eleanor Arder Wood. Like his father he was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh. He commenced his training in his father's office in 1918 but moved two years later to undertake a full five-year apprenticeship with Henry & Maclennan, studying at Edinburgh College of Art under John Begg and at Heriot-Watt College. He returned to his father's firm in January 1926 as an assistant, and during his time in that post made biennial trips abroad which took him to France, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland.

He was taken into partnership by his father in 1930 and was admitted as a student member of the Edinburgh Architectural Association in 1932. He was admitted LRIBA on 14 May 1934, his proposers being Thomas Forbes Maclennan, George Washington Browne and the then secretary of the RIAS. When his father died three months later, he was left as sole partner. He was admitted FRIBA on 9 October 1939, proposed by Maclennan, John Ross McKay and Leslie Grahame-Thomson. He continued to practise alone until 1947 when he took his younger brother Frank W Johnston (born 1906) into partnership, the firm name becoming J & F Johnston.

Described as a 'kindly man with great charm', Johnston was versatile in his professional life, enabling him 'to ride out the peaks and troughs of the constantly changing economy throughout his career'. He also led a busy public life which included responsibilities in the Merchant Company, as Moderator of the High Constabulary of the Port of Leith, and as a choir member of Cramond Church. He was a highly skilled golfer and a keen traveller, and followed his father into freemasonry, being a fellow founding member of the Watsonian Masonic Lodge.

He died in Edinburgh at a nursing home in Cluny Drive on 1 April 1992, survived by his son Kenneth and two granddaughters. His wife Margaret Bain Swan had predeceased him.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 447, Charlotte Street, Leith, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessJanuary 1926After 1950 
Item 2 of 4Portobello, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1932 *  
Item 3 of 454, East Claremont Street, Leith, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1934Before 1939 
Item 4 of 43, Lauderdale Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1939 *  

* 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):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6Joseph Marr Johnston19181920 Began training
Item 2 of 6Henry & Maclennan19201925Apprentice 
Item 3 of 6Joseph Marr JohnstonJanuary 19261930Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Joseph Marr Johnston19301934Partner 
Item 5 of 6J & F Johnston19471961Partner 
Item 6 of 6J & F Johnston & Partners1961 Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Frank Wood Johnston19341947Assistant(?) 
Item 2 of 2George Thomson19361937Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5George Washington Browne14 May 1934for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 5Thomas Forbes Maclennan14 May 1934for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 5Thomas Forbes Maclennan9 October 1939for Fellowship
Item 4 of 5John Ross McKay9 October 1939for Fellowship
Item 5 of 5Leslie Grahame Thomson (or Leslie Grahame-Thomson; later Leslie Grahame MacDougall)9 October 1939for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Alexander ('Sandy') MacCallum (or McCallum) Brown17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Thomas Inglis2 October 1968For Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Frank Wood Johnston10 January 1956For Licentiateship
Item 4 of 6Francis Murray16 December 1941for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Robert James Naismith21 October 1941For Associateship
Item 6 of 6Robert Edward Thomas Stockdale18 November 1941for Licentiateship

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 751926Leith HospitalLeith EdinburghScotlandNew outpatients' department and new nurses' home - supervised, as assistant to Joseph Marr Johnston
Item 2 of 75After 1926Dalmahoy Golf ClubhouseDalmahoy MidlothianScotlandReconstruction and extensions
Item 3 of 75After 1926Links Primary SchoolLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 75After 1926(?)St Cuthbert's PoorhouseCraigleith EdinburghScotlandReconditioning of original buildings
Item 5 of 75c. 1926(?)Capitol CinemaLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 751927Gogarburn Home for Mental Defectives  MidlothianScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 7 of 751928George Watson's College  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not selected, but awarded 100-guinea premium
Item 8 of 751929Wardie SchoolTrinity EdinburghScotlandInitially as assistant
Item 9 of 75c. 1929Lochend Road SchoolLeith EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 10 of 751930St Ninian's RC SchoolRestalrig EdinburghScotlandWorking for the Edinburgh Education Authority
Item 11 of 751933Ainslie Park High SchoolPilton EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 751933Wilson Memorial Church and HallsPortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 751934Blackhall UF Church and hallBlackhall EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 75c. 1934Leith HospitalLeith EdinburghScotlandReconstruction; new paying patients' and eye wards; additional nurses' home and maids' home - as Honorary Architect to Leith Hospital
Item 15 of 751935Carrickvale Secondary School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 16 of 751936Premises of British Ropes LtdLeith EdinburghScotlandRebuilding after fire
Item 17 of 751936Printing works for the Newspaper Publishing Co  EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 751936Trinity Bowling Club, Lomond ParkTrinity EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 75After 1937Stenhouse SchoolStenhouse EdinburghScotlandBegun at this date and probably deferred until after Second World War
Item 20 of 751938Berwickshire High SchoolLangtongate, Duns BerwickshireScotland 
Item 21 of 75Late 1930sSouth House Primary School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 751940sGolden Wonder Crisps Factory  EdinburghScotland 
Item 23 of 751940sLamont's Engineering Works  EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 751947Ainslie Park High SchoolPilton EdinburghScotlandAdditions to create further accommodation
Item 25 of 75After 1947Property of R G Ritchie  EdinburghScotlandAlterations?
Item 26 of 751948Inchview Primary SchoolPilton EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 751948Premises, Anderson PlaceLeith EdinburghScotlandNamed as sole architect
Item 28 of 75Late 1940sFactory for Messrs Donald Grant & SonSighthill EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 75Late 1940sFactory for Messrs P Nimmo & Sons  EdinburghScotland 
Item 30 of 75Late 1940sFactory for Messrs Paper Shavings LtdGranton EdinburghScotland 
Item 31 of 75Late 1940sFactory for Messrs Petrie (Aerated Waters Ltd)Bathgate West LothianScotland 
Item 32 of 75Late 1940sFactory for Scottish Prefaced Papers Ltd  EdinburghScotlandExtensions proposed
Item 33 of 75Late 1940sFlour mill for David Gaudie & SonPortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 34 of 75Late 1940sLeith Nautical CollegeLeith EdinburghScotlandAddition of radar station
Item 35 of 75Late 1940sRoadhouseHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 36 of 75Late 1940sScottish Croast (Creast?) Lines Ltd   ScotlandProposed offices and factory
Item 37 of 751951Premises, Niddrie Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 751957Maritime HouseLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 7520 June 1958Bonded Warehouse for The Drambuie Liqueur CoLeith EdinburghScotlandarchitect in charge per Builder p1154
Item 40 of 751960sGolden Wonder Crisps Factory  EdinburghScotlandExtensions to factory
Item 41 of 751960Goldbergs department store  EdinburghScotland 
Item 42 of 75c. 196012 York Place  EdinburghScotlandRear addition.
Item 43 of 751961Golden Wonder crisps factoryBroxburn West LothianScotlandNew Build
Item 44 of 75Before 1962Gracemount School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 45 of 751963Telectra House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 46 of 751964Roxburghe Hotel  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction - total cost 250,000
Item 47 of 751966Ardler Primary School  DundeeScotland 
Item 48 of 751966Car showroom and repair shop for James Ross & Sons  EdinburghScotland 
Item 49 of 751966Engineering works for Brown Brothers & Co Ltd  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction after fire damage of light engineering factory, including office block, drawing offices and workshops.
Item 50 of 751966Housing, BonnyriggBonnyrigg MidlothianScotland 
Item 51 of 751966Housing, SpencerfieldInverkeithing FifeScotland 
Item 52 of 751966Housing, StoneyburnStoneyburn West LothianScotland 
Item 53 of 751966Industrial EstateBroxburn West LothianScotland 
Item 54 of 75c. 1966College of CommerceSighthill EdinburghScotland 
Item 55 of 751967Ainslie Park High SchoolPilton EdinburghScotlandBoys' Vocational Unit
Item 56 of 751967Bottling plant for Arthur Bell & Son, East MainsBroxburn West LothianScotland 
Item 57 of 751967Finance House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 58 of 751968Comprehensive SchoolSouth Queensferry West LothianScotland 
Item 59 of 75c. 1968Factory, Golden Wonder crisp manufacturer   HollandNew storage facility
Item 60 of 75c. 1968New office block for insurance company  EdinburghScotland 
Item 61 of 751969Stevenson CollegeSighthill EdinburghScotland 
Item 62 of 751970sAirport base for Danair  AberdeenScotland 
Item 63 of 751970sBank of Scotland, New Pitsligo branchNew Pitsligo AberdeenshireScotlandRenovation
Item 64 of 751970sDevanha Gardens Nursing Home  AberdeenScotlandExtension
Item 65 of 751970sEngineering, research, training unit, dormitories, squash courts for Comex  AberdeenScotland 
Item 66 of 751970sHarlaw HouseInverurie AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration
Item 67 of 751970sHeadquarters for Wharton Williams Diving Dyce AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 68 of 751970sHeavy Goods Vehicle depot  AberdeenScotland 
Item 69 of 751970sOffices and warehousing for Farquhar Builders  AberdeenScotland 
Item 70 of 751970sStandard Life offices  AberdeenScotland 
Item 71 of 751970sTimberland shop  AberdeenScotlandAlterations
Item 72 of 751970sTimberland shopElgin MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 73 of 751970sUnderwater instrumentation base  AberdeenScotland 
Item 74 of 751970sWestings HotelLerwick (near)MainlandShetlandScotlandAlterations and extension
Item 75 of 751975Leith Nautical College and halls of residence  EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 2 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2RIAS NewsletterMay 1992v3, no7 Obituary
Item 2 of 2Scotsman11 April 1992  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no4394 (combined box 11); F no3721 (box 27)