Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Henderson Davidson
Designation: Architect
Born: 29 March 1904
Died: 23 February 1964
Bio Notes: James Henderson Davidson was born in Aberdeen on 29 March 1904, the son of William Horace Davidson, wine and spirit merchant and his wife Helen Calder Henderson. He was articled to Kelly & Nicol of Aberdeen on 4 May 1920, studying at the Aberdeen School of Architecture. He left Kelly & Nicol in March 1925 to concentrate entirely on his studies, receiving his diploma in June. He then took up an exchange placement at H M Office of Works in London where he worked principally on the design of employment exchanges. He passed his post-diploma in June 1926 and the final exam a month later, and in August he secured a temporary appointment with Lovegrove & Papworth, working on a road widening scheme. The following month he joined Middlesex County Council, where he was engaged on schools, hospitals, libraries and other county buildings. He was admitted ARIBA on 29 November the same year (1926), his proposers being Harry George Crothall, William Bevan and William Thomas Curtis, and was elected an Associate of the Institute of Architects of Scotland around the same time.

He remained with Middlesex County Council until 1947 when he was appointed chief architect for the Department of Health for Scotland, and he was still there when he was elected FRIBA in 1956, proposed by Andrew Graham Henderson, Professor William James Smith and Ferderick Robert Wylie.

During this period he was responsible for a range of work related to hospitals and welfare buildings. For the Department of Health he worked on: hospital building projects, sites for all new hospital proposals and experimental hospital buildings, a new civil defence hospitals, medical and lay staff houses, Regional Hospital Board offices, voluntary association sanitoria, local authority clinics, children's homes, homes for old persons: and administration relating to these, estimates for budget purposes, professional fees and tenders. For the General Board of Control for Scotland he worked on all mental hospitals building projects, sites for new building projects, mental institutions, criminal state institutions, Voluntary Association mental homes, medical and laboratory staff houses, institutions for educable children. For the Scottish Home Department he was responsible for children's homes, remand homes Voluntary Association Homes attahced to Approved Schools

He died at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh on 23 February 1964, survived by his wife Mary Clark and his son Hamish.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 316, Abercairn Road, Streatham, London, EnglandPrivateBefore 1926 *After 1939(?) 
Item 2 of 339, Langdale Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey, EnglandBusinessc. 1939 *  
Item 3 of 363, Lockarton Avenue, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1955 *1964 

* 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 5Kelly & Nicol4 May 1920March 1925Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)c. June 1925c. September 1905Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Lovegrove & PapworthAugust 1926September 1926Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 5Middlesex County Council Architect's DepartmentSeptember 19261947Assistant(?) 
Item 5 of 5Department of Health for Scotland (Scottish Board of Health; later Scottish Development Department)1947 Chief Architect 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6William Bevan29 November 1926For Associateship
Item 2 of 6Harry George Crothall29 November 1926For Associateship
Item 3 of 6William Thomas Curtis29 November 1926For Associateship
Item 4 of 6Andrew Graham HendersonEarly 1956For Fellowship
Item 5 of 6(Professor) William James SmithEarly 1956For Fellowship
Item 6 of 6Frederick Robert WylieEarly 1956For 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 1Early 1950sVale of Leven HospitalAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp12, p169 Vale of Leven Hospital
Item 2 of 4RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no5165 (combined box 60); A no 3963 (Box 5)