© All rights reserved. Courtesy of David Ross.  Picture taken at the opening ceremony of the "New Life For The New Town" Exhibition at the Planning Department Gallery in Market Street, Edinburgh  in the late 60 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Nicholas Fort
Designation: Architect
Born: 29 August 1922
Died: 7 September 1997
Bio Notes: Nicholas (‘Nick’) Fort was born at Fairfield, County Durham on 29 August 1922, the son of Robert Fort, bookmaker, and his wife, Margaret Humble. After war service he took the 5-year diploma course at King's College, School of Architecture, at that time the University of Durham, but which was later to become part of Newcastle University. During his student years he made a measured survey of Robert Adam’s Old College in Edinburgh and this helped give him an early appreciation of the city’s neo-classical architecture. Also as a student he helped form and served as president of the students’ union at the University. He sat the final exams in June 1946 and was elected ARIBA on 14 October 1947, his proposers being W B Edwards, G R Clayton and F Willey.

From July 1946 Fort worked as assistant to Jack Hollingworth Napper and in February 1947 he moved to a post as assistant county planning officer in Durham. He moved again to Gateshead to become town planning officer and is said to have grown a handlebar moustache at this time to make himself look older. In 1951 he joined Edinburgh Corporation initially as Depute to Tom Hewitson, Town Planning Officer. In this post he was in charge of development control during a period of much development and expansion in the city. His love of Edinburgh neo-classical heritage ensured that all developments were appropriately designed which included limitation of their height. He had a barrage balloon set up at Haymarket to test the scale of a proposed tall building. Lord Holford’s ‘High Buildings Policy’ of 1967 was closely followed and used in later plans drawn up by him.

In 1973 Fort became City Planning Officer, the title becoming Director of Planning after local government reorganisation in 1975. In 1974 he drew up the first Leith local plan and much of the regeneration of this area stemmed from this. However it is the conservation of Edinburgh’s New and Old Towns which owes much to his support. He also championed the development of the Water of Leith Walkway which was almost complete at the time of his death.

As a person Fort was known for his ‘convivial, friendly yet professional manner – as well as his prodigious memory for development matters’. He was a keen golfer and was a member of Bruntsfield. After his retirement in 1987 he took up hill-walking.

He died at home on 7 September 1997 survived by his daughter Jennifer who married the architect Ian Rolland. His wife Doreen had predeceased him.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 538, Wormhill Terrace, Fatfield, Washington, Co. Durham, EnglandPrivate1947 *  
Item 3 of 531, Silverknowes Hill, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1955After 1960 
Item 4 of 55, Silverknowes Loan, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1964 *After 1970 
Item 5 of 540h, Cramond Vale, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 19791997 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Employment and Training

Employers

The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5Jack Hollingworth Napper1946 Assistant 
Item 2 of 5Durham County Council Architect's Department1947 AssistantAsssistant to County Planning Officer
Item 3 of 5Gateshead CorporationAfter 1947 Planning Officer 
Item 4 of 5City of Edinburgh Town Planning Department1951 Depute Director 
Item 5 of 5City of Edinburgh Town Planning Department1973 Director 

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3G R Clayton14 October 1947For Associateship
Item 2 of 3(Professor) Wilfrid Bythell Edwards14 October 1947For Associateship
Item 3 of 3Frederick Willey14 October 1947For Associateship

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4RIBA1955Kalendar 1954-1955   
Item 2 of 4RIBA1960The RIBA Kalendar 1959-19601959-1960  
Item 3 of 4RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1964-65   
Item 4 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2RIAS NewsletterDecember 1997v8, no10 Death note
Item 2 of 2Scotsman10 September 1997  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 4H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 4RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 3 of 4RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 4 of 4RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no9110 (Combined Box 222)

Images

© All rights reserved. Courtesy of David Ross.  Picture taken at the opening ceremony of the "New Life For The New Town" Exhibition at the Planning Department Gallery in Market Street, Edinburgh  in the late 60 

© All rights reserved. Courtesy of David Ross. Picture taken at the opening ceremony of the "New Life For The New Town" Exhibition at the Planning Department Gallery in Market Street, Edinburgh in the late 60's. Fort at left with cigarette.