Basic Biographical Details

Name: James McLellan Brown
Born: 21 September 1886(?)
Died: 25 December 1967
Bio Notes: James McLellan Brown was born in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, on 21 September 1886 or 4 September 1887 (GSA rolls are confused and give these dates as well as 1882 and 1889), the son of David Brown, silk weaver and his wife Janet (surname not given). He was articled to Cullen, Lochhead & Brown of Hamilton in 1904, remaining there as assistant until 1914 and studying at the Royal Glasgow Technical College and Glasgow School of Art from 1906 to 1913. Between 1908 and 1914 he made architectural sketching and measuring tours of Scotland, England, northern France and Belgium.

Brown joined the Dundee City Engineer and City Architect's Department in September 1914 along with Vernon Constable and William Fraser, to work on the Caird Hall and City Square development under James Thomson. All three were soon called up, Brown serving in the Royal Engineers and eventually securing a commission. He returned to the City Engineer and City Architect's Department in Dundee as an assistant in 1919, and was admitted ARIBA in the same year, his proposers being James Lochhead, John Wilson and James Thomson. In 1922 the posts of City Engineer and City Architect were divided and in May 1924 Thomson retired as City Architect and Director of Housing at the age of seventy-two. The post of City Architect and Director of Housing was then abolished, Thomson's duties being taken over by the City Engineer, George Baxter. Brown was lucky to survive the programme of dismissals which culminated in the departure of Vernon Constable, Thomson's chief assistant architect; these resulted in him becoming the most senior surviving architect on the City Engineer's staff. Like Constable, Brown supplemented his income by teaching architecture at Dundee College of Technology and by undertaking work for other architects, principally Thoms & Wilkie.

With the prospect of the City Square redevelopment about to be put in hand, David McLay, Baxter's successor as City Engineer and City Architect, recommended Brown as Depute City Architect on 27 February 1931, a post he accepted on 3 September, initially not without some hesitation as he feared he might share the same fate as Constable when the project was complete. But by March 1932 Brown had a staff of eighteen and had begun designing some quite distinguished and spaciously laid out stone-built tenement housing in Queen Street, Broughty Ferry (1931-32) and Morgan Place (1935-39). He made study tours in France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Holland, these visits resulting in the Art Deco brick and harled tenements of Beechwood begun in 1935.

Brown was promoted to the position of City Architect and Director of Housing on 30 October 1944, and retained that position until his retirement in September 1951. He died on 25 December 1967 at Ninewells Hospital, survived by his wife Margaret Smith who died in January 1969 and his daughter Marjory who settled in Bognor.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 715, Green Street, Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1891  
Item 2 of 720, Green Street, Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness19071913 
Item 3 of 7Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1919 *  
Item 4 of 7City Engineer's Office, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1919 *  
Item 5 of 7Arbroath Road, West Ferry, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate(?)1939 or 1940 *  
Item 6 of 7Corporation Offices, Caird Square, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1953 *  
Item 7 of 7Municipal Buildings, City Square, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1954 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 7Alexander Cullen19041908Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown1908c. 1909Apprentice 
Item 3 of 7Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brownc. 1909January 1911Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Cullen, Lochhead & BrownJanuary 19111914Assistant 
Item 5 of 7Dundee Burgh Engineer's Office/Dundee City Engineer's Office19193 September 1931Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Dundee City Architect's Department3 September 193130 October 1944ArchitectDepute City Architect
Item 7 of 7Dundee City Architect and Director of Housing Department30 October 1944September 1951Chief ArchitectDundee City Architect and Director of Housing

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5Robert Dron1926September 1951AssistantIn Dundee City Architect's Department - as Deputy City Achitect by 1950
Item 2 of 5Frederick George Sturrock1930After 1937AssistantIn Dundee City Architect's Department
Item 3 of 5John JeffreyBefore 1930c. 1934AssistantIn Dundee City Engineer's Office
Item 4 of 5Archibald Gilchrist PatonBefore 1935After 1939AssistantIn Dundee City Architect's Office
Item 5 of 5James Millerc. 1939c. 1940AssistantIn Dundee City Architect's Department


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3James LochheadMid 1919for Associateship
Item 2 of 3James ThomsonMid 1919for Associateship
Item 3 of 3John WilsonMid 1919for Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This 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 391920The Specimen House  DundeeScotlandDesigned building following commission from James Thomson, both of Corporation of Dundee
Item 2 of 391924Villas, 354 to 358 Arbroath Road  DundeeScotlandFor himself and fellow architect W B D Keith
Item 3 of 39After 1925Ashludie HouseMonifieth AngusScotlandAdditions - as Depute City Architect
Item 4 of 39After 1925Broughty Ferry LibraryBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAs City Architect/Engineer
Item 5 of 39After 1925Sidlaw SanatoriumAuchterhouse DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect
Item 6 of 39c. 1925Local Authority Housing between N slope of Dundee Law and Strathmore AvenueLawton DundeeScotlandIn the City Engineer's Department
Item 7 of 391926Harris Academy, Perth Road  DundeeScotlandAssisted Thoms & Wilkie with winning competition design
Item 8 of 391926Harris Academy, Perth Road  DundeeScotlandUnsuccessful competition designs made for Maclaren Soutar Salmond on a fee-paid basis
Item 9 of 391927Logie Central School and janitor's house  DundeeScotlandMade drawings for Maclaren Soutar Salmond on a fee-paid basis
Item 10 of 391929Fleming Trust Housing  DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect
Item 11 of 391930sSt Martin's Episcopal School  DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect
Item 12 of 391930sSt Michael's RC School  DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect.
Item 13 of 391930City Chambers  DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect
Item 14 of 391930Fire Station  DundeeScotland 
Item 15 of 391931Ashludie HouseMonifieth AngusScotlandBig detached block to S - as Depute City Architect
Item 16 of 391931Caird Hall  DundeeScotlandSouth half of East wing extension - for Council Offices.
Item 17 of 391931Caird Hall  DundeeScotlandWest extension - built as City Chambers
Item 18 of 391933Tenement Block, South Tay Street and West Port corner  DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect. Gifford gives David McLay but this is incorrect as he was an engineer.
Item 19 of 39c. 1933Dundee Corporation Transport Department Garage  DundeeScotlandAs Dundee Depute City Architect
Item 20 of 391934Block of flats, 31-33 Kinghorne RoadHilltown DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect would have been responsible for design
Item 21 of 391935Beechwood Housing EstateLochee DundeeScotlandJames McLellan Brown, as Dundee Depute City Architect
Item 22 of 391935Mid Craigie Housing EstateMid Craigie DundeeScotlandAs Dundee City Architect
Item 23 of 391935Mills Observatory, Balgay Park  DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect
Item 24 of 391935Morgan Place Housing  Dundee As Depute City Architect.
Item 25 of 391936Linlathen Housing Development  DundeeScotlandAs depute City Architect
Item 26 of 391936Tenements, Hilltown  DundeeScotlandMainly resposible - as Depute City Architect
Item 27 of 391937Stobswell Boys' School  Dundee As City Architect. Unfinished at the time of Mclellan's retirement in 1951.
Item 28 of 39c. 1938Magdalen Kirkton Housing Scheme  DundeeScotlandJames McLellan Brown as Dundee Depute City Architect
Item 29 of 391939Mid Craigie SchoolMid Craigie DundeeScotlandAs Depute City Architect
Item 30 of 391941The Clep Public Bar  DundeeScotlandProbably responsible
Item 31 of 391946Clement Park Gardens Housing  Dundee As City Architect
Item 32 of 391946Local Authority housingLochee DundeeScotlandAs City Architect
Item 33 of 391950Craigie, Angus and Douglas Housing EstateCraigie, Angus and Douglas DundeeScotlandSubmitted plans and layout
Item 34 of 391950St Vincent's RC Primary School  DundeeScotland 
Item 35 of 392 January 1953Corporation Housing, Douglas and Angus Estates  DundeeScotland150 Corporation houses
Item 36 of 3910 July 1953Public Library, Keanway  DundeeScotlandNew library
Item 37 of 391954Bathing ShelterBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAs City Architect
Item 38 of 3926 March 1954Community Centre, Mid CraigieMid Craigie DundeeScotlandTo prepare plans for new community centre
Item 39 of 398 February 1957Dundee High School  DundeeScotland'R. Dron and J. McLellan Brown, Municipal Buildings, City Square' per Builder p252


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 4Frew, John1992James McLellan Brown Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, '100 Years of Town Planning in Dundee', pp16-22 
Item 2 of 4RCAHMS1992Dundee on Record RCAHMSThe Clep Public Bar - image from Clepington Road (1989) p57
Item 3 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4Who's Who in Architecture1926    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder1 December 1950  p582
Item 2 of 5Builder2 January 1953  p32
Item 3 of 5Builder10 July 1953  p80
Item 4 of 5Builder26 March 1954  p572
Item 5 of 5Builder7 May 1954  p830

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal recollections of Robert Dron to David Walker in 1960s and to Dr John Frew in 1991 (see '100 Years of Town Planning in Dundee'). Also information per Iain Paterson from Mrs Crawford, 7 Sidehead Road, Stonehouse.
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no2769 (microfilm reel 23)