Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Taylor Thomson & McCrea (or Thomson & Partner)
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1937(?)
Ended: 1952
Bio Notes: James Taylor Thomson was born in Edinburgh 1887 or early 1888, the son of Andrew Lindsay Thomson, commercial traveller and Alice Rennie Taylor, and was educated at the Royal High School. He was articled to George Lennox Beattie c.1903. At the end of his articles he joned Robert Stodart Lorimer's office as an assistant. He emigrated to the USA in 1912 and for eight years worked with Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue in New York. In the 1920s he returned to Scotland for medical treatment. He originally intended to return to New York but decided to establish his own practice as architect and civil engineer, joining Burnet Son & Dick part-time at Burnet's invitation to take over the detailing of Glasgow University Chapel. There he fell foul of Norman Dick over the time taken and left, Dick thereafter supervising the detailing himself. Fortunately Thomson's personal practice picked up very quickly to become a serious threat to Dick's. In 1927 he won the competition for St John's Renfield Church, and it was there that he married Wilhelmina Coutts Malcolm on 3 June 1931. Thomas Smith Tait gave him a major share of the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938, from which Dick was excluded. From 1936 to 1937 Taylor Thomson was assisted by William McCrea who appears to have been taken into partnership around that time under the title of James Taylor Thomson & Partner, his name being acknowledged in the practice title as Thomson & McCrea by c. 1942.

William McCrea was born on 4 February 1896 and was articled to David Forbes Smith of Kirkcaldy from 1912 and attended Heriot-Watt College in Edinburgh and the Glasgow School of Architecture where he undertook the full diploma course and was awarded the Diploma of the School. At some point thereafter he spent two periods of three months studying in northern France. In 1920 he entered the office of James Miller followed by a spell in the office of John Burnet, Son & DickHe was admitted ARIBA sometime before 1930. He joined James Taylor Thomson as chief assistant in 1936 and claimed in his FRIBA nomination papers to have commenced independent practice in Glasgow in 1937, but this was presumably as partner to Thomson prior to his name being acknowledged in the practice title. He was elected FRIBA on 22 September 1942, his proposers being Professor William James Smith, Charles Geddes Soutar and Thomas Johnston Beveridge. McCrea was active in public life. He was President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects from 1953-54, and was elected President of the RIAS in 1955, having previously sat on the Council for seventeen years in various capacities, as well as serving on the Council and Executive Committee of the RIBA.

James Taylor Thomson was also active in public life. He was vice president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects, Deacon of the Incorporation of Masons and president of Glasgow Art Club.

Thomson died of cancer at 156 Hyndland Road, Glasgow on 15 March 1953, aged sixty-five, after a long period of poor health.

In 1952 William Hamilton Sanders was assumed into the partnership which then continued under the name of Thomson McCrea and Saunders. See separate enty

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2156, Hyndland Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate *1953 
Item 2 of 2212, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19281954 

* 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 7Walter Neil Wilson Ramsay1925c. 1930Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7James Milne Munro Billing1937(?)After 1938Assistant 
Item 3 of 7James Taylor Thomson1937(?)1952Partner 
Item 4 of 7William McCrea1937(?)1952Partner 
Item 5 of 7Gavin Strathearn Allan Lennox1 November 193731 December 1938Assistant 
Item 6 of 7William Hamilton SandersJune 19391952Assistant 
Item 7 of 7Gavin Haveron McConnell19481953Assistant 

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 421937Factory for Donaldson & Files LtdPollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 421938Church of Scotland hallsDalmarnock GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 421939BeechwoodMuirend GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 4 of 421939Blowarthill Church of Scotland  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 421939Premises for Donaldson & Faber  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 42Before 1942Factory for John Tullis & CoTullibody ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 7 of 42Before 1942Factory for John Tullis & Sons  GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 8 of 42Before 1942Lamlash SchoolLamlashButeButeScotland 
Item 9 of 42Before 1942Yorkshire Insurance Company offices, St Vincent Street  GlasgowScotlandCompletion
Item 10 of 42c. 1942(?)Cowlairs Co-operative Society Department storeCowlairs GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 421947Gilmore & Aitken Premises  GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 12 of 421947Ivanhoe Hotel  GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 42194843 Wellington Street and 41 Waterloo Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 421948Her Majesty's Theatre, Gorbals StreetGorbals GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 15 of 421948HouseKippen StirlingshireScotland 
Item 16 of 421948New Church Halls Mecklarig Avenue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 421948Premises 83-91 Forth Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 421948Residence? Dalkeith Avenue  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 19 of 421949Barony Parish Church  GlasgowScotlandOrgan case
Item 20 of 421949Premises for R Kelton, WhiteinchWhiteinch GlasgowScotlandAs Messrs James Taylor Thomson & McCrae. Rebuilding of property
Item 21 of 421950Canteen and Offices for John N Watson & Co Ltd, David Street  GlasgowScotlandTo prepare plans for offices and alterations to canteen
Item 22 of 421950Factory for Donaldson & Files LtdPollokshaws GlasgowScotlandTo prepare plans for extensions and other works
Item 23 of 421950Garages for Co-op Society Ltd, Kemp Street  GlasgowScotlandTo prepare plans for new garages etc
Item 24 of 421950Poloc Creamery, Cogan StreetNewlands, Pollochshaws GlasgowScotlandTo prepare plans for alterations
Item 25 of 421950Protestant Primary School, Pollock (Priesthill Scheme)Pollock GlasgowScotlandWith Colin Young & Smith (102 Bath Street, Glasgow) as quantity surveyors
Item 26 of 421951Commercial Garage, Copland Road and Vicarfield StreetGovan GlasgowScotlandTo prepare plans
Item 27 of 421951Titwood Established Church  GlasgowScotlandTaken down and re-erected at Meiklerig Crescent as St James's Pollok
Item 28 of 421952Offices, Harmony RowGovan GlasgowScotlandAs James Taylor Thomson & McCrea
Item 29 of 421953Donniebrae Works, RutherglenRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandTo prepare plans for extensions (as James Taylor Thomson, McCrea & Saunders - see Builder 1953, 24 July, p157)
Item 30 of 421953Premises of Clyde Bonding Company Ltd, North Spiers Wharf  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 31 of 426 November 1953Montrose Old ChurchMontrose AngusScotlandPlans in hand for alterations
Item 32 of 4225 December 1953Premises of D MacDonald & Brothers Ltd, Taylor Street  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 33 of 4225 December 1953Premises of Ever Ready Co (Great Britain) Ltd, Douglas StreetBlythswood GlasgowScotlandp1014
Item 34 of 421954Factory of Robert Paterson & Sons Ltd, Greendyke StreetSaltmarket GlasgowScotland 
Item 35 of 421954Ocean Accident Insurance Company Buildings  GlasgowScotlandPlans prepared and approved for alterations and additions
Item 36 of 421954Premises of Donaldson & Filer Ltd, Cogan StreetPollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 37 of 421954Premises of L C Cowan, Croftfoot Road  GlasgowScotlandExtensions
Item 38 of 421954Works of Watson & MacLean Ltd, Harmony Row  GlasgowScotland 
Item 39 of 4212 March 1954Premises of J S Small Ltd, Kyle StreetTownhead GlasgowScotlandPlans in hand for extensions
Item 40 of 421955Petrol Filling Station and HouseThankerton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 41 of 421955Premises of MacDonald & Bros Ltd, North Hanover Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 42 of 421955Premises of R P Ltd, Queen's Drive  GlasgowScotland 


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 23Builder2 December 1949  p747
Item 2 of 23Builder24 November 1950  p550
Item 3 of 23Builder1 December 1950  p582
Item 4 of 23Builder9 June 1950  p793
Item 5 of 23Builder22 September 1950  p346
Item 6 of 23Builder29 September 1950  p379
Item 7 of 23Builder5 January 1951  p27
Item 8 of 23Builder2 March 1951  p332
Item 9 of 23Builder24 July 1953  p157
Item 10 of 23Builder14 August 1953  p264
Item 11 of 23Builder18 September 1953  p452
Item 12 of 23Builder6 November 1953  p720
Item 13 of 23Builder25 December 1953  p1014
Item 14 of 23Builder12 March 1954  p488
Item 15 of 23Builder14 May 1954  p870
Item 16 of 23Builder21 May 1954  p918
Item 17 of 23Builder28 May 1954  p958
Item 18 of 23Builder23 July 1954  p157
Item 19 of 23Builder7 January 1955  p36
Item 20 of 23Builder21 January 1955  p156
Item 21 of 23Builder4 February 1955  p236
Item 22 of 23RIAS QuarterlyMay 195392Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Obituary of Taylor Thomson
Item 23 of 23RIAS QuarterlyAugust 1955101Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)pp4-6