Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Smith
Designation: Architect
Born: 1879
Died: 25 June 1946
Bio Notes: James Smith was born in 1879 and educated at Hillhead High School and Allen Glen's School. He was articled to John Bennie Wilson, Glasgow from October 1894 until the November 1898, studying at the Glasgow School of Art and Royal Technical College. He assisted in the School in 1898 and 1899, and was awarded a travelling studentship before obtaining a temporary appointment with the Caledonian Railway's architectural department in March of the latter year. This ended in June 1900 when he found a place in the office of William Leiper, but a year later the Caledonian re-engaged him. He passed the qualifying exam in 1906 and was admitted ARIBA on 3 December that year, his proposers being Leiper, James Milne Monro and John Archibald Campbell. His home address at that date was 1 Blythswood Drive, and his nomination papers state that he had spent time in Oxford in the previous year, presumably sketching.

He left the Caledonian Railway in November 1908 and emigrated to Argentina to work in the architectural department of the Great Southern Railway, being appointed their chief architect in 1911 but with the freedom to undertake private commissions. He was still in the same office when he was elected FRIBA on 1 December 1924, his proposers being James Westbrook Farmer, Eustace Lauriston Conder and David Bateman Hutton.

Smith was a prominent Freemason, and was for many years an Elder of the St Andrew's Scots Church in Buenos Aires. He retired in 1938 and died at Temperley, Argentina, on 25 June 1946, leaving a widow, Elizabeth Reynolds, and four daughters.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 21, Blythswood Drive, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1906 *  
Item 2 of 2365, Avenida Fernandez, Temperley FSI, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaPrivate1924 *  

* 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 6John Bennie WilsonOctober 1894December 1898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Caledonian Railway Company Architect's and Engineer's Department13 March 189918 June 1900Assistant 
Item 3 of 6William Leiper18 June 190018 June 1901Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Caledonian Railway Company Architect's and Engineer's Department24 June 190113 November 1908Assistant 
Item 5 of 6Ferrocarril del Sud, Oficina Vias y Obras (Great Southern Railways, Argentina)15 November 19081911Assistant(?) 
Item 6 of 6Ferrocarril del Sud, Oficina Vias y Obras (Great Southern Railways, Argentina)1911After 1924Chief Architect 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John Archibald Campbell3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 2 of 6Eustace Lauriston Conder1 December 1924for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6James Westbrook Farmer1 December 1924for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6David Bateman Hutton1 December 1924for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6William Leiper3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 6 of 6James Milne Monro3 December 1906for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Matthew CormieLate 1930 or early 1931for Licentiateship - letter of recommendation
Item 2 of 2Sydney George FollettEarly 1931for Fellowship

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 31901Craigievar CastleCraigievar AberdeenshireScotlandSurvey drawings. It was perhaps this James Smith - the journal reports that James Smith who was a student at GSA in 1899 drew up the plans.
Item 2 of 31901Glasgow Central Station  GlasgowScotlandExtension - as assistant in Caledonian Railway Architect's and Engineer's Department
Item 3 of 31903Wemyss Bay Railway StationWemyss Bay RenfrewshireScotlandAs assistant in Caledonian Railway Architect's and Engineer's Department


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal13 January 1947v54London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp151 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v17 p39 (microfilm reel 19); F no1987 (microfilm reel 16)