Basic Biographical Details

Name: McKellar & Gunn
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: c. 1914
Ended: Before 1929
Bio Notes: John Campbell McKellar was born in Glasgow on 1 November 1859, the son of Robert McKellar, bleacher, dyer and property speculator of Newlandsfields, Pollokshaws, and Janet McNeilage. He was educated at Queen's Park Collegiate School and articled to James Milne Monro in 1875, remaining as an assistant. In 1881 to 1882 he spent a year as assistant to Frank Burnet to gain experience in the building of tenement housing. Early in 1883 he established his own practice in West George Street and in 1884 took on house factoring and property management as well. At first the practice consisted mainly of industrial work and alterations to tenements but from 1888, presumably with family capital, he began to build tenements speculatively. These tenements were mainly concentrated in Crossmyloof and in the Kelvinside-Maryhill area where his father had already laid out Bilsland Drive.

In 1894 McKellar entered into partnership with the house-factor John McKellar, presumably a relative and formerly of Robert Stobo and Co., who had considerable property holdings of his own. But in 1896 McKellar & McKellar was dissolved; John Campbell McKellar then formed a limited liability company John C McKellar Ltd with a capital of 40,000, which held the 33 tenements McKellar had retained out of the 89 he had built. In 1899 the capital was increased to 100,000, and by 1901 the Crossmyloof properties had been sold to concentrate on higher quality development in Kelvinside, Hyndland and Partick where their housing tended to be strategically located in relation to industry. The programme extended from tenements to self-contained houses at Hillington Park in 1906, but despite aggressive 'become your own landlord' marketing, these were slow to sell, only thirty houses being built, and the construction of new property was brought to a close by the introduction of Increment Duty in The Finance Act of 1909 and the Rent and Mortgage Restriction Act of 1914, subjects on which McKellar gave evidence to the Royal Commission on Housing in 1913, stating that 'during the last five years I have not been able to lay one stone upon another.'

Associated with the move up-market was the recruitment to the architectural practice of George Gunn and William Stephen Gibson, both from Alexander Cullen's office, in or before 1902. Gunn had been born at 18 Hopehill Road, Glasgow on 28 April 1873, the son of Daniel Urquhart Gunn, commercial clerk and accountant, and his wife Annie Wotherspoon Speirs. He had been articled to James Ritchie from 1886 to 1891, concurrently attending classes at Glasgow School of Art, whereafter he had sought more up-to-date experience first with Stark and Rowntree and then with James A Morris and James Kennedy Hunter in Ayr in 1894. The latter firm had a London office, which had provided a useful base from which he had passed the qualifying exam in that year. Gunn had been admitted ARIBA on 11 March 1895, his proposers being James A Morris, William Forrest Salmon and Thomas Lennox Watson. Gunn was no doubt prospective partner, but an actual partnership did not materialize until the practice became dependent on commissioned work rather than that of John C McKellar Ltd.

The partnership of McKellar Davis & Gunn was not formed until 1911 or 1912, but the background of George B Davis has so far proved untraceable. Davis appears to have withdrawn or died in late 1913 or 1914 as thereafter the practice was known as McKellar & Gunn. This continued until the later 1920s when Gunn took rooms of his own in Burnet's new building for the North British & Mercantile Company at 200 St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 245, West Nile Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1913 *  
Item 2 of 295, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1919 *  

* 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 3John Campbell McKellarc. 1913Before 1929Partner 
Item 2 of 3George Gunnc. 1913Before 1929Partner 
Item 3 of 3(Professor) William James Smith19141914Assistant 

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 31913Picture House and Tea RoomsDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 2 of 31921Parkhead Picture PalaceParkhead GlasgowScotlandDesign of building - George Gunn responsible
Item 3 of 31924Redlands Terrace  GlasgowScotland 

References

Currently, there are no references for this architectural practice. The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.