Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Maclaren & Sons
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1893
Ended: 1908
Bio Notes: James Maclaren took his eldest son George Gordon Maclaren into partnership in 1883, after the break-up of his partnership with George Shaw Aitken around March 1879 as a result of disagreements and litigation over the specification of stone from the Ferrybank estate near Cupar.

The Ferrybank stone affair adversely affected the practice and George had neither London nor Edinburgh experience. In the early 1880s the patronage of Maclaren's most important client, the Cox family, gradually slipped away to the much more up-to-date John Murray Robertson whose inspiration was partly American, and although the firm still had a very substantial domestic practice from the Panmure estate feus, it had lost the commanding position it had previously enjoyed. Nevertheless Maclaren's position as father of the profession in Dundee was still very much evident when he called a meeting in June 1884 to devise a uniform set of rules for the measurement of the work of the various trades. His efforts led to the Dundee Mode of Measurement in 1898 and ultimately the Scottish National Building Code of 1915. At the June 1884 meeting Charles Ower observed that it was the first time the architects in the area had met professionally and proposed an organisation on the lines of London's Architectural Association. In the same month the Dundee Institute of Architecture Science and Art was founded with James Maclaren as its first president, 1884-86.

James Maclaren died at Ferrybank on 16 June 1893. Prior to his death he appears to have recognised that the practice was becoming out of date as a younger son, John Turnbull Maclaren, born on 19 April 1863, was sent to an unspecified office in the United States to gain experience, returning on his father's death as a partner. It appears that John Turnbull Maclaren practised briefly as 'J T Maclaren & Son' in the months just after his father's death. He exhibited a design for some work on Lyndhurst at the Glasgow Institute of Architects in 1893 under this name.

George Gordon Maclaren who had set up house in Invermark Terrace, Barnhill, retained his father's management of the Panmure feus for the Dalhousie Trustees and concentrated his interests in Broughty Ferry where he had become a parish councillor and a burgh commissioner, successfully promoting a scheme for a municipal gasworks, though not the scheme for municipal swimming baths and private baths of which he was the principal advocate. Stylistically his work was a pale version of his father's. In 1896 he suffered a heart attack and from the summer of 1898 he was confined to his house. He died on 31 June 1899, survived by a widow Isabella Stenhouse and a young family. He left a moveable estate of £1,633 15s 10d.

John Turnbull Maclaren continued the practice as sole practitioner into the early years to the twentieth century but his American experience was not significantly reflected in the firm's buildings. The more ambitious designs of the later 1890s and early 1900s were known to be the work of Andrew Graham Patrick, born in Perth in 1864. He had been recruited as leading draughtsman from David Smart's office in Perth in 1894. He had attracted the Maclarens' notice by winning an open competition at Port Townsend, USA, but his fiancé had declined to emigrate with him. In 1908 Maclaren took Charles Geddes Soutar into partnership, a move which took the practice back into the premier league, the office now being at 10 Reform Street. The practice was then known was Maclaren Sons & Soutar.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 110, Bank Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness   

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 5George Gordon Maclaren18931899Partner 
Item 2 of 5John Turnbull Maclaren18931908Partner 
Item 3 of 5Andrew Graham Patrick18941908Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 5Stewart Kaye19011905Apprentice 
Item 5 of 5James Sadler19101914Apprentice 

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 301892Bonnygate UP ManseCupar FifeScotland 
Item 2 of 301893Balgay Industrial SchoolsBalgay DundeeScotlandDesigned by Patrick
Item 3 of 301893House for Findlay on Seafield RoadBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 4 of 301894Cottage for James Gowans, SeafieldBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 5 of 301895Tenement on Gray StreetBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 6 of 301895The VineryBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 7 of 30c. 1895Ashley  DundeeScotland 
Item 8 of 30c. 1895Invermark  DundeeScotland 
Item 9 of 30c. 1895Redmyre  DundeeScotland 
Item 10 of 30c. 1895St Margaret's  DundeeScotland 
Item 11 of 301896Grove AcademyBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandSecond phase
Item 12 of 301896Houses on Whinnybrae and Queen Street CornerBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 13 of 301896Oakley PlaceBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 14 of 301896Tenement, Fisher Street and Gray StreetBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 15 of 301897Norma TerraceBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 16 of 301897One AshBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 17 of 301897Villa, 20 Camphill RoadBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 18 of 301898Dunblane Hydropathic InstitutionDunblane PerthshireScotlandNorth Wing
Item 19 of 301898Joint Free and UP ChurchWormit FifeScotland 
Item 20 of 301898Wormit Free ChurchNewport-on-Tay FifeScotland 
Item 21 of 301899West Free Church hallBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 22 of 301900Baldovan Institution  DundeeScotlandFurther complex of buildings to north
Item 23 of 301900Mission ChurchCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 24 of 301900St Bride's ChapelPanbride AngusScotland 
Item 25 of 30c. 1900WhinsbyBarnhill, Broughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 26 of 301901Barnhill CemeteryNernhill DundeeScotlandBuildings and walls
Item 27 of 301902Villa at ForthillBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 28 of 301903Red RoofsBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 29 of 30190511 Tally Street  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Patrick
Item 30 of 301907Villa for John Whytock  DundeeScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Dundee Yearbook1893   James Maclaren obituary

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder2 April 1948  John T Maclaren
Item 2 of 3Dundee AdvertiserJuly 1899  George Gordon Maclaren (cutting in NMRS)
Item 3 of 3RIAS QuarterlyAugust 1948no 72Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)John T Maclaren

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from William Salmond, William Patrick, James McIntosh Patrick, Ann Patrick, Stuart O Barron, Peter Young and Ian Gordon Lindsay