Basic Biographical Details

Name: Richardson & McKay
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1920
Ended: 1942
Bio Notes: James Smith Richardson (born 1888) and John Ross McKay (born 1884) both studied at the School of Applied Art, Edinburgh, and subsequently worked in the office of Sir Robert Stodart Lorimer. Richardson spent several years in independent practice prior to entering the partnership with McKay, who came directly from Lorimer's practice. McKay had returned to Lorimer's office as Chief Assistant after the First World War, during which he had served as a staff captain under one of Lorimer's clients, General Hunter-Weston of Hunterston. Hunter-Weston had invited McKay to stay for a weekend and Lorimer had instructed him to decline as he did not think it appropriate that an assistant should be a guest of a client; he went, and he was either dismissed or reacted by resigning on the following Monday. It was a partnership of the disaffected as Richardson also felt embittered about Lorimer, whom he regarded as having 'pinched' one of his clients shortly after setting up in practice.

On 8 November 1920 Richardson was appointed full-time Inspector of Ancient Monuments, and in 1922 John Begg invited him to become a part-time lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, mainly in architectural history. He did not give up his partnership, a number of clients coming to the practice as a result of his official duties, but thereafter McKay did most of the work. Richardson and McKay had their revenge on Lorimer in the matter of the Scottish National War Memorial, which Richardson opposed through the Ancient Monuments Board as its secretary - in a letter to fellow architect Robin Smith Dods, Lorimer described him as a 'wild talking irresponsible devil of a secretary' who had been 'trying hard to wreck it, incidentally with the hope of wrecking me'. In November 1922 Richardson succeeded in defeating Lorimer's scheme by erecting a canvas mock-up which Lorimer described as a 'nightmare erection' which gave no 'adequate idea of the silhouette or of its light shade or colour'.

Between December 1924 and February 1926 Richardson & McKay were joined in practice at 4 Melville Street by Donald MacDonald MacKie (born 1897), a former pupil of Lorimer who had completed his apprenticeship with McKay after the First World War and had worked as assistant to the firm from May 1922 to May 1924. It is unclear whether a formal partnership existed or whether MacKie simply worked independently from a shared office, but MacKie left in February 1926 to live and work at his own premises of Coltbridge Studio, Murrayfield.

McKay was Vice-President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association c.1930, and was elected FRIBA on 5 December 1938, his proposers being Thomas Forbes Maclennan, Reginald Fairlie and William James Walker Todd. In 1942 Richardson left the partnership and McKay merged his practice with that of Walker Todd.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 34, Melville Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1920  
Item 2 of 354, Manor Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1938  
Item 3 of 36, Albyn Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1942 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 14Francis O'Hara 1939Assistant 
Item 2 of 14James Smith Richardson19201942Partner 
Item 3 of 14John Ross McKay19201942Partner 
Item 4 of 14Donald MacDonald MackieMay 1922May 1924Assistant 
Item 5 of 14Donald MacDonald MackieDecember 1924(?)February 1926(?)Architect(?)Unclear whether MacKie simply shared the Richardson & McKay office or was taken into partnership
Item 6 of 14James Watson RitchieAfter 19251926Assistant 
Item 7 of 14Robert McNab (or Robert Macnab)19261928Assistant 
Item 8 of 14James Dickson YoungFebruary 1928April 1931Assistant 
Item 9 of 14Ernest John Weir28 March 1931Early 1932Junior Assistant 
Item 10 of 14Ernest John WeirEarly 1932After 1936Chief Assistant 
Item 11 of 14Francis O'Hara19341935Assistant 
Item 12 of 14Adam Bryce KerrOctober 1934After 1936Assistant 
Item 13 of 14Francis O'Hara19371938Second Assistant 
Item 14 of 14James MurrayJuly 1937September 1938Assistant 

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 188 19 Rothesay Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations - date unknown
Item 2 of 188 19-25 Rothesay Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to no 19
Item 3 of 1881920G F Merson's Factory  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 4 of 188After 1920C & J Brown's shop front and depository  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 188After 1920Douglas & Foulis premises  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 188After 1920Mayfield GarageMayfield EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 188After 1920West AcresBalerno MidlothianScotland 
Item 8 of 188192179 Great King Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 9 of 1881921Lochcote HouseLinlithgow West LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 10 of 1881921St Hilda's SchoolLiberton EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 11 of 188192220 Merchiston Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and additions (McKay responsible)
Item 12 of 188192299 Rose Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 13 of 1881922Belhaven HouseBelhaven East LothianScotlandAlterations
Item 14 of 1881922Caley Picture House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 1881922Hall ManorPeebles PeeblesshireScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 16 of 1881922Hillend Farmhouse  MidlothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 17 of 188192319 Eglinton Crescent  EdinburghScotlandConversion to 3 flats (McKay responsible)
Item 18 of 1881923Dunfermline War MemorialDunfermline FifeScotlandCompetition design - not successful?
Item 19 of 1881923Feuing, North Berwick MainsNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 20 of 1881923OldfieldsNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 21 of 1881923Squash Court, 12 Abercromby Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 1881923St Ninian's ChurchLeith EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 23 of 1881924BeltonGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 24 of 1881924Broomhills Farm, Grieve's Cottage  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 25 of 1881924Dirleton Parish ChurchDirleton East LothianScotlandAlterations
Item 26 of 1881924Frosts, 67-81 Shandwick Place  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction, including shopfront
Item 27 of 1881924Gate Lodge, Saughton CemeterySaughton EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 28 of 1881924Hoebridge HouseMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 29 of 1881924NungateNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 30 of 1881924The GatehouseNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 31 of 1881925AuchindouneLiberton EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 1881925Garage for Bruce Lindsay & CompanySt Leonards EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 33 of 1881925Kinleith MillCurrie MidlothianScotlandAlterations
Item 34 of 1881925RavelrigBalerno MidlothianScotland 
Item 35 of 188192616 Brights Crescent  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 36 of 188192630 Moray Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 37 of 1881926BlanerneNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 38 of 1881926Bungalow for Mrs KennedyPortobello EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 39 of 1881926Cat and Dog Home  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 40 of 1881926Craiglockhart Pavilion and groundsman's house, Edinburgh University Sportsground  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 41 of 1881926House for Mrs BeveridgeDirleton East LothianScotland 
Item 42 of 1881927Carlton Cinema  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 43 of 1881927Corstorphine CemeteryCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 44 of 1881927Cottage for Mr Grieve  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 45 of 1881927Fowler's Motor GarageNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 46 of 1881927Lochside HouseDuddingston EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 47 of 1881928Bungalow, Tigh na Coille, FearnanLoch Tay PerthshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 48 of 1881928MacAndrews premises  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 49 of 1881928MayfieldMilnathort Kinross-shireScotlandAdditions (McKay responsible)
Item 50 of 1881928RavensworthColinton EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 51 of 18819291a Ramsay Garden  EdinburghScotlandAlterations - McKay responsible
Item 52 of 18819292-5 Glenfinlas Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 53 of 1881929Dean CastleKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandNew gatehouse, courtyard walls and other work (Richardson responsible)
Item 54 of 1881929Dornock MillCrieff PerthshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 55 of 1881929House for Miss Bruce IonaArgyllScotland 
Item 56 of 1881929Houses for G FowlerNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 57 of 1881929West MillsColinton EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 58 of 1881930Bangholm CottageGoldenacre EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 59 of 1881930(?)Bungalow for Messrs Nimmo & SonsCraiglockhart EdinburghScotlandDesigns by McKay
Item 60 of 1881930(?)Bungalow for Messrs Nimmo & SonsCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandDesigns by McKay
Item 61 of 1881930Garage for G C MacAndrew  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 62 of 1881930Granton and Wardie Free ChurchInverleith EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 63 of 1881930Rondo HotelSelkirk SelkirkshireScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 64 of 1881930(?)St Baldred's RoadNorth Berwick East LothianScotland1930s feuing plan (McKay responsible)
Item 65 of 188193114 Ainslie Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 66 of 1881931Granton and Wardie Free ChurchInverleith EdinburghScotlandOrgan case and alterations (McKay responsible)
Item 67 of 1881931Public House  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 68 of 1881931Warriston CemeteryWarriston EdinburghScotlandNew gate lodge (by John Ross McKay)
Item 69 of 188193210 Eglinton Crescent  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 70 of 188193249-51 High StreetTranent East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 71 of 1881932AithernieDavidson's Mains EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 72 of 1881932House for Miss W D RenwickPeebles PeeblesshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 73 of 1881932House for William ThyneAberlady East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 74 of 1881932Nicolson Street Church  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction of interior after fire (McKay responsible)
Item 75 of 188193312 Eglinton Crescent  EdinburghScotlandConversion to 3 flats (McKay responsible)
Item 76 of 18819333-21 Kenmure AvenueDuddingston EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 77 of 1881933Chalmers Street Nursing Home  edinburghScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 78 of 1881933Corstorphine Bank Estate road layoutCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 79 of 1881933Dowry HousePathhead, Kirkcaldy FifeScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 80 of 1881933GlenwoodGlenlockhart EdinburghScotlandAddition of coalhouse (McKay responsible)
Item 81 of 1881933Haddon's Court  EdinburghScotlandNew board room (McKay responsible)
Item 82 of 1881933House for G BeeLiberton EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 83 of 1881933House for Miss CampbellBowden RoxburghshireScotlandCompleted details (McKay responsible)
Item 84 of 1881933House for W A Scott Douglas (Solsgirth)Gullane East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 85 of 1881933Proposed House in Dick Place  EdinburghScotlandDesigns (McKay responsible)
Item 86 of 1881933Seagate HouseGullane East LothianScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 87 of 1881933Tea RoomLoch Striven ArgyllScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 88 of 1881933TofthillWardie EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 89 of 1881933Victoria HotelBamburgh NorthumberlandEnglandMcKay responsible
Item 90 of 188193411a Belford Mews  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 91 of 188193428 Nelson Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 92 of 18819344-14 Doune Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to no. 8 for D M Mathieson (McKay responsible)
Item 93 of 18819347 Craigmillar ParkCraigmillar EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 94 of 1881934Castlekemp HouseNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 95 of 1881934Clifton HallNewbridge MidlothianScotlandAlterations? (McKay responsible)
Item 96 of 1881934Competition Design for a Scottish House   ScotlandCompetition design (McKay responsible)
Item 97 of 1881934Fra Mor, garage for Captain Basil M JonesColinton EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 98 of 1881934House at AberladyAberlady East LothianScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 99 of 1881934Industrial Bar  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 100 of 1881934Martin & Sons Garage and WorkshopsRoseburn EdinburghScotlandAdditional work (McKay responsible)
Item 101 of 1881934Moat Bar  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 102 of 1881934National BankInverkeithing FifeScotland 
Item 103 of 1881934Proposed House for Mrs BarclayAberlady East LothianScotlandSketch plans (McKay responsible)
Item 104 of 1881934Scottish Motor Traction Company Ltd  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (?) (McKay responsible)
Item 105 of 1881934Shops and tenements at Factor's Park  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 106 of 1881934StanmoreDavidson's Mains EdinburghScotlandAddition of bathroom (McKay responsible)
Item 107 of 188193514, 16 Grosvenor Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 108 of 188193522 ScotstownBanff BanffshireScotlandAlterations for Mrs Cuthbertson (McKay responsible)
Item 109 of 18819356 Belgrave CrescentDean EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 110 of 188193592 Gorgie RoadGorgie EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 111 of 1881935Binns' store  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible - new front
Item 112 of 1881935Caroline Park HouseGranton EdinburghScotlandReinstatement of south range after fire, and modification of profile of roofs (McKay responsible)
Item 113 of 1881935Drawing for house in International Style   ScotlandDrawing (McKay responsible)
Item 114 of 1881935Morton Sundour FabricsCarlisle CumberlandEnglandFactory (McKay responsible)
Item 115 of 1881935Prestonpans BreweryPrestonpans East LothianScotlandAdditions
Item 116 of 1881935Riddell MillRoxburgh RoxburghshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 117 of 1881935Thomson & Norris Corrugated Cases factoryTurnhouse EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible (in collaboration with Robert Sharp of London)
Item 118 of 188193612 Mortonhall Road  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 119 of 1881936133 Lothian Road  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to form The Motor Bar (McKay responsible)
Item 120 of 188193614-16 Shandwick Place  EdinburghScotlandDaimler Co Ltd showrooms - McKay responsible
Item 121 of 188193617 Lynedoch Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 122 of 18819362, 4 and 6 Ratcliffe Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and garage front (McKay responsible)
Item 123 of 18819368 Mayfield Gardens  EdinburghScotlandAlterations? (McKay responsible)
Item 124 of 1881936Bell's Brewery  EdinburghScotlandAlterations? McKay mainly responsible
Item 125 of 1881936Binns Furniture Repository  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 126 of 1881936Carfraemill HotelOxton BerwickshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 127 of 1881936GaragePenicuik MidlothianScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 128 of 1881936Harp HotelCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 129 of 1881936Lorrisden House  MidlothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 130 of 1881936Powderhall Arms  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 131 of 1881936Premises of the Scottish Motor Traction Co  EdinburghScotlandGarage and workshops
Item 132 of 1881936Proposed House for Mrs Ireland   ScotlandDrawings (McKay responsible)
Item 133 of 1881936Royal HotelPenicuik MidlothianScotlandGarage alterations (McKay responsible) - taken over from James Tait, builder
Item 134 of 1881936Scottish Motor Traction Company GarageCarlisle CumberlandEnglandMcKay responsible (?)
Item 135 of 1881936Scottish Motor Traction Company premises  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible (?)
Item 136 of 1881936SlipperfieldWest Linton PeeblesshireScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 137 of 188c. 1936Scottish Motor Traction Company Ltd GarageAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandMcKay responsible (?)
Item 138 of 188193711 Church Hill  EdinburghScotland 
Item 139 of 1881937138 Constitution StreetLeith EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 140 of 188193720 Heriot Row  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 141 of 188193755-59 High StreetTranent East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 142 of 18819377 St Margaret's Road  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 143 of 18819379-11 Hope Street  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 144 of 1881937Braid Hills Hotel  EdinburghScotlandAdditions (McKay responsible)
Item 145 of 1881937Bruntsfield Golf Club HouseMusselburgh MidlothianScotlandAlterations? (McKay responsible)
Item 146 of 1881937Clifton Lodge  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 147 of 1881937CloverhillBroughton PeeblesshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 148 of 1881937CraigendNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 149 of 1881937Granton and Wardie Free ChurchInverleith EdinburghScotlandReconstruction of interior after fire (McKay responsible)
Item 150 of 1881937House for W N MurphyCraiglockhart EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 151 of 1881937Inveresk LodgeInveresk MidlothianScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 152 of 1881937Playhouse CinemaNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 153 of 1881937Public House, 127-132 High Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to no. 127 (McKay responsible)
Item 154 of 1881937Regal CinemaBathgate West LothianScotlandMcKay responsible- provided designs? Unclear why Haxton secured the job.
Item 155 of 1881937Scottish Motor Traction Company Buildings  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 156 of 1881937Scottish Motor Traction Company Buildings  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 157 of 1881937Scottish Motor Traction Company Ltd Offices  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 158 of 1881937Thyne's Printing FactoryLochend EdinburghScotlandExtensions
Item 159 of 1881937West LodgeNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 160 of 18819381 Dundonald Street and 3 Cumberland Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 161 of 1881938(?)17 Magdala Crescent  EdinburghScotlandAlterations - by McKay or by Dick Peddie, Todd & Jamieson?
Item 162 of 18819382 Randolph Crescent  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 163 of 188193820 Mansionhouse Road  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 164 of 188193831 Regent Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 165 of 18819388, 12 Torphichen Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations - conversion of houses to offices (McKay responsible)
Item 166 of 1881938Dhivach LodgeGlenurquhart Inverness-shireScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 167 of 1881938Double villa for Messrs Smith and InglisBarnton EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 168 of 1881938Dryburgh's BreweryDuddingston EdinburghScotlandAdditions - McKay responsible
Item 169 of 1881938Flats, Falcon Avenue  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 170 of 1881938Gortanansaig, cottagesKnockdow ArgyllScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 171 of 1881938Haymarket Bar  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 172 of 1881938House for Mrs StevensonGullane East LothianScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 173 of 1881938Houses for T Sutherland HendersonEast Duddingston EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 174 of 1881938Houses, Manor Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to no. 54 to form McKay's new office (McKay responsible)
Item 175 of 1881938McVittie's Bakery  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 176 of 1881938Premises for Croall & Sons  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 177 of 1881938Quayside MillsLeith EdinburghScotlandAlterations and additions (McKay responsible)
Item 178 of 1881938Regal CinemaShotts LanarkshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 179 of 1881938Tenements, Falcon Park  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 180 of 188193925 Shandwick Place  EdinburghScotlandWarehouse addition (McKay responsible)
Item 181 of 1881939Firrhill Territorial Army Drill HallFirrhill EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 182 of 1881939Garage, Falconhall  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 183 of 1881939Headquarters and Garages for the 52nd Searchlight Regiment, Territorial Army  EdinburghScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 184 of 1881939Larbert Emergency Hutted Hospital, BellsdykeLarbert StirlingshireScotlandMcKay responsible
Item 185 of 1881939R Middlemass & Son Factory  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (McKay responsible)
Item 186 of 1881939Scottish Union and National Insurance Company Buildings  EdinburghScotlandUnexecuted designs (McKay responsible)
Item 187 of 1881939Shandwick Place  EdinburghScotlandSurvey (McKay responsible)
Item 188 of 1881939The PeelClovenfords SelkirkshireScotlandConverted to emergency hospital and huts built in grounds - McKay responsible


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Savage, Peter1980Lorimer and the Edinburgh Craft Designers Edinburgh: Paul Harris Publishing, 1980 (also paperback ed, London & Edinburgh: Steve Savage, 2005) 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Proceedings of the Soc. of Antiquaries of Scotland1970102 vii-x, 1969/1970: obituary of richardson

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 supplied to David M Walker by R G Cant, Alfred G Lochhead and others