Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Salmon & Son / James Salmon FRIBA
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: June 1913(?)
Ended: 1924
Bio Notes: When William Forrest Salmon, senior partner of Salmon Son & Gillespie, died on 7 October 1911, his will proved the catalyst for the dissolution of the partnership of Salmon, Son & Gillespie, the prosperity of which had probably also been affected by the Finance Act of 1909. The will made no provision for Forrest Salmon's son James Salmon Junior to inherit his share of the practice, which instead remained part of his trust estate, his stepmother Agnes being entitled to a share of such profits as the firm had at that time. John Gaff Gillespie now became senior partner and as James Junior had spent all his income on foreign travel and motoring (as a letter to his brother Hugh of 18 August 1910 records) he could not afford to buy out either Gillespie or his stepmother. Gillespie bought out Agnes's trust estate interest in June 1913, retaining the office in Mercantile Chambers, the archive (which was later sent for pulping when his successor Jack Coia was interned in 1940), and the commission for Stirling Municipal Buildings which had been awarded to the firm by Leiper in 1908. James moved out to a rented flat at 48 Jane Street, Blythswood Square which was both home and office, apparently without even a secretary. He retained the commission received in 1909 for the Admiralty Village at Cove Farm, Greenock of which only a few houses had been built in 1910, and was allowed to revive the name of the firm as it had existed prior to 1903, James Salmon & Son, later abbreviated simply to James Salmon FRIBA.

The few clients James Salmon Junior had for actual building in 1913-14 were all medical, probably introduced through his friend Dr James Devon. He developed Repertory Theatre connections from 1914 but although he made many sketch designs, one including an hotel, none of these was pursued further. When war came his Admiralty connections stood him in surprisingly good stead, with the garden village development at Cove Farm going ahead and he received commissions for workers' housing at Greenock and Cambuslang, which were not built. The income from these enabled him to marry, on 2 February 1917, Dr Agnes Picken, a colleague of Dr Devon's at Duke Street Prison, remembered by James's brother Hugh's daughter Anne as 'a very direct, no nonsense, amusing resolute woman who had had to make her own way in the world'. They lived in Salmon's house and office in Jane Street and at the end of the war became deeply involved in welfare work in the Balkans, particularly in respect of Dr Katherine McPhail's Sanatorium for sick children at Brababic, Ragusa working in association with the American Relief Administration European Children's Fund. Lectures given in 1920 and 1921, together with other papers relating to these activities, survive.

Salmon's post-war clients remained exclusively medical, his only sizeable commission being the reconstruction of Redlands on Great Western Road as Glasgow Women's Private Hospital, begun in 1921. Like his father he took a particular interest in professional matters and was editor of the RIAS Quarterly in 1921-22.

James Salmon's last months greatly distressed his wife and friends. By the autumn of 1923 he was unable to continue his practice because of bowel cancer. Moreover he was responsible for his aunt Wilhelmina who had become senile with arterio sclerosis and had to be taken into Craighouse, Edinburgh, the cost of which must have been a considerable financial strain. She died on 9 January 1924 and it fell to him to wind up what was left of his grandfather's Trust for her. Salmon himself died only three-and-a-half months later on 27 April. The letters Dr Devon wrote to keep him amused and interested in his last weeks are in the NMRS collection. His estate amounted to only 535 9s. 6d., part of which was his inheritance from his Aunt Wilhelmina's Trust.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 148, Jane Street, Blythswood Square, Glasgow, 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 1James Salmon (junior)June 19131924Partner 

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 271913Proposed workers' garden village for Argyle Motor WorksAlexandria/Vale of Leven DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 2 of 27After 1913Cambuslang InstituteCambuslang LanarkshireScotlandUndated sketch design
Item 3 of 271914Glasgow Repertory Theatre  GlasgowScotlandProposals
Item 4 of 271914Gourock Municipal BuildingsGourock RenfrewshireScotlandCompetition design - placed third
Item 5 of 271914London Road UF Church Hall  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 6 of 271914Plantation Bakery  GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 7 of 271914Villa, Richmond Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 271915Hastings LodgeMaxwell Park GlasgowScotlandAlterations to house and new motor house
Item 9 of 271915Terrace of workers' cottages, EastfieldCambuslang LanarkshireScotlandSketch design
Item 10 of 271915Two-storey four-flat blocks (2)   ScotlandSecond block c1915
Item 11 of 271915Two-storey semi-detached house block, probably for Samuel GalleyCambuslang LanarkshireScotlandSketch design
Item 12 of 271915Workers' housing, Roxburgh StreetGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 13 of 271916Glasgow Rubber WorksNorth Kelvinside GlasgowScotlandAlterations to workshop
Item 14 of 27c. 1916HMS Royal Oak and HMS Repulse     
Item 15 of 271917172 Bath Street  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 271917Hostel FlottaOrkneyScotland 
Item 17 of 271919Campbeltown War MemorialCampbeltown ArgyllScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 18 of 27c. 1919Lantern Theatre  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 27c. 1919Theatre, Richard Street and St Vincent Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 271920The Cottage, CherrybankKillearn StirlingshireScotlandChimneypiece
Item 21 of 271920Whitefield Estate, feuingGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 271921Roselle  GlasgowScotlandScheme for conversion to Women's Hospital
Item 23 of 27c. 1921Two-storey villa   Scotland 
Item 24 of 271922Chicago Tribune TowerChicago IllinoisUnited States of AmericaUnsuccessful competition design
Item 25 of 271922HyndleePeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 26 of 271922Redlands House  GlasgowScotlandConversion and extensions to form Hospital for Women, including wing to rear
Item 27 of 271922Two-storey villaBusby LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 5Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary  pp316-18
Item 2 of 5O'Donnell, Raymond2003The life and work of James Salmon architect, 1873-1924 Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 3 of 5Walker, David M1966Salmon, Son, Grandson and Gillespie Scottish Art Review, vol. X, no. 3, pp. 17-29 
Item 4 of 5Walker, David M1975The Partnership Of James Salmon And John Gaff Gillespie Service, A (ed.): Edwardian Architecture and its Origins (London: Architectural Press, 1975), 236-49 
Item 5 of 5Walker, David W1995The Salmon Collection Unpublished: copy in NMRSDSA text is adapted from this source