Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||John Stuart Syme |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||1872 |
|Died: ||12 December 1958 |
|Bio Notes: ||John Stuart Syme was born in 1872 and was articled to Robert Rowand Anderson in 1888, attending Heriot-Watt College and, briefly, the Edinburgh School of Applied Art before moving to the office of William Henry Thorp of Leeds in 1896. In 1898 he moved to London to work for James Glen Sivewright Gibson, returning to Anderson's practice, by then Anderson, Simon & Crawford, in 1899. On the dissolution of that partnership in 1902 he joined the office of the Edinburgh School Board architect John Alexander Carfrae, leaving for Liverpool in 1905 to be briefly assistant to Frank Worthington Simon of Matear & Simon. In the same year he moved again to York as assistant to Walter Henry Brierley whose chief assistant since 1901, James Hervey Rutherford, had been a fellow apprentice in Anderson's office. Syme was admitted LRIBA on 20 March 1911, proposed by Sydney Decimus Kitson and the Leeds & Yorkshire Architectural Society. |
Brierley subsequently took Rutherford into partnership, Rutherford continuing the practice after Brierley's death in August 1926 and taking Syme into partnership in January the following year. Syme was elevated to FRIBA in mid-1928, his proposers being Simon, Rutherford, and Edward Thomas Boardman, President of the Norfolk & Norwich Association of Architects. At that time he was President of the York & East Yorkshire Architectural Society. His nomination papers state that he had spent at least a fortnight each year since 1893 in travelling and studying, and had visited Belgium, France and Italy as well as touring England and Scotland extensively.
The Rutherford & Syme partnership was dissolved in 1939; Rutherford continued the Brierley practice (though the RIBA obituary says Rutherford retired in 1939) and Syme practised alone until 1943 when he merged his business with that of Cecil Leckenby and who had been on the staff of Brierley & Rutherford from 1912-1926, whose son David A Leckenby became a partner in 1954. They were joined by John K Keighley in 1956. By that date Syme was eighty-four and must have been almost completely retired, though his RIBA obituary says he retired in April 1958.
Syme was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a member of the Diocesan Committee of York, of York Civic Trust and of the Royal Archaeological Institute. By the post-war period, he was affectionately referred to as 'Dinky Dime' by some members of his staff. He died on 12 December 1958.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|23, Hill Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||c. 1905|| ||Appears to have practised briefly at this address perhaps working for Charles Mitchell?|
|13, Lendal, York, Yorkshire, England||Business||Before 1906||After 1928|| |
|21, Bond Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, England||Private||1911 *|| || |
|Ivyholme, Holgate Road, York, Yorkshire, England||Private||1928 *|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Post Office Directories|| || || || || |
|Who's Who in Architecture||1914|| || || || |
|Who's Who in Architecture||1923|| || || || |
|Who's Who in Architecture||1926|| || || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|RIBA Journal||April 1959|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects||Obituary p22|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Courtesy of Roy Hunter||Interview of Roy Hunter by Jessica Taylor, 18 November 2009|| ||Information re: 'Dinky Dime' epithet|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||L v13 no858; F no2610 (box 9)|