Basic Site Details

Name: R W Forsyth Ltd Department Store
City or county: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland
Parish:  
Status: A listed
Grid ref:
Notes: EDINBURGH - A new building has just been finished at the corner of Princes Street and St Andrew Street. from designs by Mr John James Burnet, ARSA, architect, Glasgow, as business premises for Messrs R W Forsyth. The whole of the constructive details are of steel upright and transverse beams embedded in concrete. The demolition of the Douglas Hotel, the chief house on the site, was begun in June of last year, the actual building operations were not commenced until September, and now the premises, which have cost between 30,000 and 40,000, are completed and open for business. The elevation to both thoroughfares shows a building six stories in height, and there is a basement carried 15 feet, below the street level. The design divides itself into four parts - a high base rising through three stories to a height of 43 feet: above, embracing two stories, the main order, with Renaissance Ionic columns, supporting a stone cornice and open balustrade: and a small upper story for workrooms, with recessed windows and balcony. The angle tower which knits the two portions of the building together rises to a height of 120 feet. [Building News 24 May 1907 p 717]

Additional information from John Watson (junior) who worked on the drawings and designed the bridge.

Sculpture by William Reid Dick 1925 on addition to Princes Street and new building on St Andrew Square.

Structural engineer William Basil Scott (1876-1933).

Building Type Classification

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

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 330, Princes StreetYes 
Item 2 of 3South St Andrew StreetYes 
Item 3 of 33, St Andrew SquareYes 

Events

The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 61906  Beginning of project
Item 2 of 61907 Opened 
Item 3 of 619101911 Work carried out
Item 4 of 619231925 West extension over site of George Washington Browne's Redfern building (see separate entry) and new building at 3 St Andrew Square with bridge over mews lane
Item 5 of 619291930 Sports and hairdressing departments within earlier building
Item 6 of 6After 1951Before 1955Alterations and additions(?) 

People

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 15(Sir) John James BurnetArchitectA1906 Project begun
Item 2 of 15John Burnet & SonArchitectural practiceA1906 Project begun
Item 3 of 15William John BlainArchitect 19101911As Chief Assistant to Sir John James Burnet
Item 4 of 15(Sir) John Burnet & PartnersArchitectural practiceB19231925West extension over site of George Washington Browne's Redfern building (see separate entry) and new building at 3 St Andrew Square with bridge over mews lane
Item 5 of 15(Sir) John James BurnetArchitectB19231925West extension over site of George Washington Browne's Redfern building (see separate entry) and new building at 3 St Andrew Square with bridge over mews lane
Item 6 of 15John Watson (junior)ArchitectB19231925As assistant to John James Burnet - west extension over site of George Washington Browne's Redfern building (see separate entry) and new building at 3 St Andrew Square with bridge over mews lane
Item 7 of 15Norman Aitken DickArchitectB19231925West extension over site of George Washington Browne's Redfern building (see separate entry) and new building at 3 St Andrew Square with bridge over mews lane
Item 8 of 15(Sir) John Burnet & PartnersArchitectural practiceC19291930Sports and hairdressing departments within earlier building
Item 9 of 15(Sir) John James BurnetArchitectC19291930Sports and hairdressing departments within earlier building
Item 10 of 15Thomas Smith TaitArchitectC19291930Sports and hairdressing departments within earlier building
Item 11 of 15Carr & MatthewArchitectural practiceGAfter 1951Before 1955Alterations
Item 12 of 15David CarrArchitectGAfter 1951Before 1955Alterations
Item 13 of 15Iain Dewar HaigArchitectGAfter 1951Before 1955Alterations - as assistant
Item 14 of 15James Robertson LaidlawArchitectGAfter 1951Before 1955Alterations - as apprentice with Carr & Matthew
Item 15 of 15Stuart Russell MatthewArchitectGAfter 1951Before 1955Alterations

Clients

The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
 NameNotes
Item 1 of 1Forsyth, R W, Ltd 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Academy Architecture1907 part 1 p54 (first design - not as built)
Item 2 of 5Clarke, Jonathan2014Early Structural Steel in London Buildings: a discreet revolution English Heritagepp78-79. Photo of the steel frame only partly clad in 1907.
Item 3 of 5Edwards, A Trystan1930The architectural work of Sir John Burnet and Partners (Masters of Architecture Series) Genevapp107, 113
Item 4 of 5Royal Academy1926Catalogue  no 1302
Item 5 of 5Wardleworth, Dennis2013William Reid Dick, Sculptor Farnham: Ashgatep81

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Architect16 October 1925   
Item 2 of 5Builder15 June 1923CXXIV p968 (illustration and plan)
Item 3 of 5Builder22 October 1926  p641
Item 4 of 5Builders Journal25 December 1907   
Item 5 of 5Building News24 May 1907  p 717


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 5Courtesy of James Robertson LaidlawInformation sent to Dictionary Sent April 2010
Item 2 of 5Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register29696 
Item 3 of 5Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register29503 
Item 4 of 5RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers Norman Aitken Dick: F no2686 (box 10); William John Blain: L v16 no1128
Item 5 of 5Strathclyde Regional ArchivesGlasgow Dean of Guild