Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Mair
Designation: Architect
Born: 29 June 1883
Died: 25 December 1943
Bio Notes: Alexander Mair was born on 29 June 1883, the son of George Mair and his wife Mary Edie Adam. He was articled to Allan Stevenson of Ayr on 1 August 1899, remaining as assistant after completing his apprenticeship and studying at Ayr Academy where he later assisted as a lecturer. After exactly ten years in Stevenson's office he moved to Hamilton to join Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown, returning to Ayr three years later as chief assistant to William Cowie. In 1913 he was appointed architect and surveyor to the Duke of Portland's Scottish estates, and he remained there until 1919 when he commenced practice on his own account at 36 John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock.

In April 1927 he merged his practice with that of Thomas McGill Cassels. He had met Cassels when they were both apprenticed to Stevenson. Cassels had joined Stevenson in partnership and had inherited the practice on the latter's death. The practice title then became Allan Stevenson, Mair & Cassels. In the same year Mair converted a range of neo-classical estate cottages at The Bower, Monkton as his own house, having recently married.

On 1 August 1929 Mair withdrew from the partnership - or, as expressed in his LRIBA nomination papers, 'severed [his] connection with Mr Cassels' - probably because he had received the major commission for Ayr County Buildings and was now attracting much more business than Cassels, particularly from dairies. He took an office at 20 Wellington Square, Ayr and continued to practise alone until his death in 1944. During the 1930s he designed numerous housing estates and individual houses including some progressive modern ones.

Mair did not apply for RIBA membership until late 1930, and was admitted LRIBA early the following year, his proposers being James Lochhead, John Watson and James Archibald Morris. His travels up to that point had included two three-week visits to France (Paris, Versailles, Rouen and Dieppe), a fortnight in Switzerland and various tours of the British Isles.

Mair died on 25 December 1943 at the Bower, Monkton, survived by his wife Jessie McWhirter.

The archive of Allan Stevenson, Mair & Cassels stayed with Allan Stevenson & Cassels after the split, and was subsequently passed to Duncan McCulloch and then to E A Darley - who formed the Darley Hay partnership - when they successively took over the firm in later years. The Darley Hay archive was transferred to Ayrshire Archives in 2007 when the Darley Hay partnership merged with the Carricks to form Carricks Darley Hay.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 436, John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1 August 1919April 1927 
Item 2 of 429, Wellington Square, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1926 *  
Item 3 of 4The Bower, Monkton, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1927After 1930 
Item 4 of 420, Wellington Square, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1 August 1929After 1939 

* 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 6Allan Stevenson1 August 1899c. 1904Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Allan Stevensonc. 19041 August 1909Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown1 August 1909January 1911Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Cullen, Lochhead & BrownJanuary 19111912Assistant 
Item 5 of 6William Cowie19121913Chief Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Allan Stevenson, Mair & CasselsApril 19271 August 1929Partner 

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 10John Wilson February 1941Chief Assistant 
Item 2 of 10James Henderson1928(?)1930Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 10Marion Mitchell Shaw (Mrs Young)November 1929(?)After 1930(?)Assistant(?)Presumed to be working for Mair at this time as Shaw's nomination papers give a business address identical to Mair's
Item 4 of 10John Wilson1930 Assistant 
Item 5 of 10David FergusonJune 19301938Junior Assistant 
Item 6 of 10Allan Barrowman Wilson19311934Apprentice 
Item 7 of 10Kenneth Dall Ritchie1933 Apprentice 
Item 8 of 10James Wright1937 * Assistant 
Item 9 of 10Ian Brown Kinnear1938 or 1939 Assistant 
Item 10 of 10Kenneth Dall RitchieLate 1930s Assistant 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3James LochheadLate 1930 or early 1931for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3James Archibald MorrisLate 1930 or early 1931for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3John WatsonLate 1930 or early 1931for 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 48 Western HouseAyr AyrshireScotlandContribution unclear and date unknown (Michael C Davis writes that the practice 'seems to have been involved in the project in some way)
Item 2 of 481913Estate work for the Duke of Portland   ScotlandVarious works, as architect and surveyor on the Duke of Portland's Scottish estates
Item 3 of 481923Nurses' home, Barassie StreetTroonAyrshireScotland Extension
Item 4 of 481925Drumdone Estate  AyrshireScotlandPlans - unclear whether by Mair or Cassels
Item 5 of 481927Caldwell HouseUplawmoor RenfrewshireScotlandConversion to psychiatric hospital - alterations, additions and new garden wall
Item 6 of 481927Kingsbridge & Salcombe District Cottage Hospital  DevonEnglandBegun by Cassels alone; completed in partnership with Mair
Item 7 of 481927The BowerPrestwick AyrshireScotlandConverted into a house for himself and his new wife
Item 8 of 48192817 Carrick StreetAyr AyrshireScotlandAlterations
Item 9 of 481928Enterkine EstateStair (near) AyrshireScotlandPlans
Item 10 of 481928Loch Ericht HotelDalwhinnie Inverness-shireScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 11 of 48192942 Carrick StreetAyr AyrshireScotlandAlterations to fish restaurant
Item 12 of 481929Chalmers Road, planAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 13 of 481929County Buildings and Sheriff CourtAyr AyrshireScotlandExtension
Item 14 of 481930s(?)17 Greenfield AvenueAlloway AyrshireScotland1930s - exact date not known
Item 15 of 481930149-151 High StreetAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 16 of 481931Police StationLargs AyrshireScotlandExtension.
Item 17 of 481931West of Scotland Agricultural College, Auchincruive/AuchencruiveSt Quivox AyrshireScotlandApiary, Poultry School and Dairy School. Also Dairy research building
Item 18 of 481932Eighteen housesPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 19 of 481932Prestwick North Church HallPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 20 of 48c. 1932Prestwick and Monkton Parish Church hallMonkton/Prestwick AyrshireScotlandRedecoration
Item 21 of 481933Orangefield HousePrestwick (near) AyrshireScotlandConversion to hotel for Prestwick Airport
Item 22 of 481933St James Church HallAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 23 of 481934CreameryKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 24 of 481934Galloway CreameryStranraer WigtownshireScotlandExtension
Item 25 of 481934Milk powder factoryKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 26 of 481934Property for Dr InnanAyr AyrshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 27 of 481934The ShielingAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 28 of 48c. 1934Doonbank CottageDoonfoot AyrshireScotland 
Item 29 of 481935CreameryMauchline AyrshireScotland 
Item 30 of 481935CreameryStranraer WigtownshireScotland 
Item 31 of 481935CreameryHogganfield GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 481935Milk Powder FactoryMauchline AyrshireScotland 
Item 33 of 481935Prestwick Aerodrome, administrative building and hangarPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 34 of 481935The White HouseMonkton (near) AyrshireScotland 
Item 35 of 481936Portland VillaTroon AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 36 of 481936Villa, Wood RoadTroon AyrshireScotlandExtended to form Mineworkers' Convalescent Home
Item 37 of 481937Block of three- and four-apartment cottages    Design exhibited
Item 38 of 481937Cunning ParkAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 39 of 481937Glasgow Empire Exhibition, Scottish Milk Marketing PavilionBellahouston GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 481937Skeldon HouseDalrymple AyrshireScotlandSquare roof dormers inserted - and probably crowning balconies at the same time. May also have added extra storey on one wing of stable court.
Item 41 of 481937St Cuthbert's ChurchMonkton and Prestwick AyrshireScotlandSingle storey addition to S
Item 42 of 481938BlawearieMaidens AyrshireScotland 
Item 43 of 481938Cintra HouseHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 44 of 481938Glasgow Empire Exhibition, Palace of EngineeringBellahouston GlasgowScotlandTransfer of building to Prestwick
Item 45 of 481938GlenronnieMaidens AyrshireScotland 
Item 46 of 481938Parish ChurchDalmellington AyrshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 47 of 481939Fairlees, LawhillTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 48 of 481939Prestwick Housing SchemePrestwick AyrshireScotlandDesign exhibited


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1RIBA1939The 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 1Builder14 January 1944  Obituary - exact death date not given

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information about Darley Hay Archive from Rob Close
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no3536 (box 12)