Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Symington Houston
Designation: Architect
Born: 14 January 1905
Died: 26 March 1975
Bio Notes: James Symington Houston was born on 14 January 1905, the son of William Houston, haridresser, and his wife Agnes Symington. He was articled to Launcelot Hugh Ross on 7 July 1919, attending classes at Glasgow High School from that year and subsequently studying at Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Technical College. On completion of his apprenticeship in 1924 he moved to Paisley where he joined H Cook & Hamilton as assistant. He returned to Glasgow three years later when he secured a position as assistant to Hamilton Neil, transferring to the office of William Baillie in 1928 and to that of Charles James McNair in 1929.

In 1932 he left McNair to assist Walter Underwood, Chief Architect to the Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society. He was still working in that office when he was admitted LRIBA on 11 December 1945, his proposers being Launcelot Hugh Ross, Harry Cook, Alexander Nisbet Malcolm, and Glasgow Institute of Architects secretary William MacLean. By 1950 he had been promoted to the position of Architect and Master of Works at the Co-operative Baking Society.

He died on 26 March 1975 at his home in Glasgow. His wife, Rachel Boyd, had predeceased him.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 372, Ochil Street, Tollcross, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1930  
Item 2 of 3139, Muirdrum Avenue, Cardonald, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1945 *1975 
Item 3 of 312, McNeil Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1950 *  

* 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 8Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society (SCWS) Architectural Department (CWS Ltd Architecture & Design)  Chief ArchitectChief Architect and Master of Works at the Co-operative Baking Society.
Item 2 of 8Launcelot Hugh Ross7 July 191924 September 1924Apprentice 
Item 3 of 8Cook & HamiltonLate 19241927Assistant 
Item 4 of 8Hamilton Neil19271928Assistant 
Item 5 of 8William Baillie19281929Assistant 
Item 6 of 8Charles James McNair19291932Assistant 
Item 7 of 8Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society (SCWS) Architectural Department (CWS Ltd Architecture & Design)1932After 1945AssistantUnder Walter Underwood, Chief Architect
Item 8 of 8Walter Underwood1932After 1945AssistantIn SCWS Architect's Department


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Henry ('Harry') Cook11 December 1945for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3Alexander Nisbet Malcolm11 December 1945for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Launcelot Hugh Ross11 December 1945for Licentiateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 2RIBA1950The 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 L no5801 (combined box 101)