Basic Site Details

Name: Ewart Free Library
Town, district or village: Dumfries
City or county: Dumfriesshire
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: 31 sets of plans were submitted in the competition of which eight were measured and the plan of Mr A B Crombie selected. Before measurement the assessor had placed the plans as follows:
1st Frank Carruthers, Dumfries
2nd Rupert Savage. City Press Chambers 148 Aldgate London
3rd James Crombie 23 Ramsey Street Brixton, London
4th Alan B Crombie Dumfries
5th James Chalmers, Central Buildings 95 Hope Street Glasgow
6th A B Robb and FG Grierson. Imperial Buildings Ludgate Circus
To which the committee added
John A Campbell 44 West George Street Glasgow
Thomas Martin, Leeds

Formal opening 8 September 1904. Cost £10,000

The formal opening of the Dumfries and Maxwelltown Ewart Free Library erected at a cost of £10,000 presented by Mr Andrew Carnegie was performed on the 8th inst by Miss McKie who presented the site. The library is an imposing structure designed by Mr A B Crombie, local architect. A marble bust of the late Thomas Aird, poet and journalist, has been placed in the building and it has been formally handed over to the custody of the committee by Mr McKie onbehalf of the Dumfries Burns Club and the subscribers. It is the work of Mr John Hutcheson RSA. [British Architect 23 September 1904 p235]

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Library  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1Ewart Library, Catherine StreetYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 31900 Competition held 
Item 2 of 319001904Construction 
Item 3 of 31936  Rear extension


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 7Francis (Frank) James Chambers CarruthersArchitect 1900 Placed first by the assessor but lost the commission following measurement
Item 2 of 7James ChalmersArchitect 1900 Placed fifth by the assessor
Item 3 of 7James CrombieArchitect 1900 Placed third by the assessor, but his brother obtained the commission
Item 4 of 7John Archibald CampbellArchitect 1900 Competition design - not successful
Item 5 of 7Alan Burgess CrombieArchitectA19001904Placed fourth by assessor but won competition and secured job following measurement
Item 6 of 7H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)Architectural practice 1936 Extension
Item 7 of 7Robert S Osborne [Osbourne]Architect 1936 Rear extension


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Gifford, John1996Dumfries and Galloway (The Buildings of Scotland)  p267
Item 2 of 4Harper, Roger H1983Victorian Architectural Competitions: An Index to British and Irish Architectural Competitions… London: Mansell PublishingCampbell entry
Item 3 of 4RSA1900   569 (Alan Crombie design)
Item 4 of   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Architect and Building News1936Jan-June p144
Item 2 of 2British Architect23 September 1904  p235 - opening