Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander McCulloch
Born: c. 1844
Bio Notes: Alexander McCulloch was born in West Fife and commenced his career with practical training in the building trade with a 'leading establishment' in Edinburgh. He studied at Heriot-Watt and in 1864 became assistant to Charles Macpherson, Edinburgh's burgh engineer. In 1868 he commenced the University of Edinburgh's engineering course, winning its first prize and medal in 1870, and was employed by Professor Fleming Jenkin to make illustrations and lecture diagrams. In 1872 he was appointed first assistant to William Mackison, Dundee's Burgh Engineer, in succession to Watson who became water engineer. In 1875 he resigned to set up practice in Dundee as a civil engineer and in mid-1876 he formed the Dundee and Edinburgh civil engineering and architectural partnership of McCulloch & Fairley with James Graham Fairley whom he had known in Macpherson's office.

The partnership of McCulloch & Fairley had a formal existence of only about three years, but remained effective for at least another eight years, McCulloch continuing to obtain Fairley's assistance for any major architectural commission that came his way, most notably at the French Renaissance Girls' High School (1886) in Dundee, one of the finest Scottish buildings of the 1880s.

McCulloch was admitted AMICE in 1885. He took an active part in Dundee public life, becoming a volunteer officer in 1878, a councillor in 1883, and Convener of the Works Committee of the Water Commission in 1884, having a major hand in the design and construction of the aqueduct from Lintrathen to Clatto. He subsequently had a similar advisory role in the design of the Esplanade, succeeding in changing its design from serpentine to straight. He became a Baillie in 1886, but subsequently resigned to apply for the post of City Water Engineer and was surprised to find himself an unsuccessful candidate.

In 1885 McCulloch engaged as assistant George Jamieson, probably because the time Fairley could give to McCulloch's practice was becoming limited. In 1894 Jamieson was made a partner; McCulloch then moved to Edinburgh where he appears to have been briefly in partnership with his son Robert McCulloch at 3 Bernard Street, Leith, whilst Jamieson carried out all of the firm's Dundee business himself.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Dundee, ScotlandBusiness18751894 
Item 2 of 4Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1876  
Item 3 of 43, Bernard Street, Leith, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1894  
Item 4 of 42, Park Road, Trinity, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)c. 1910c. 1912May have retired by 1910 and this may be home only

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 6Charles Macpherson (or McPherson)1864 Assistant 
Item 2 of 6Dundee Burgh Engineer's Office/Dundee City Engineer's Office18721876Chief AssistantWorking under William Mackison, Burgh Engineer
Item 3 of 6William Mackison18721876Chief AssistantIn Dundee Burgh Engineer's Office
Item 4 of 6McCulloch & Fairley1876c. 1880Partner 
Item 5 of 6McCulloch & Jamieson1894c. 1900Partner 
Item 6 of 6A & R McCullochc. 1898(?)After 1905Partner 

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 3George Jamieson18851894Chief AssistantBecame a partner 1894
Item 2 of 3William Clark18861891Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3George Brown Deas18911894Apprentice 

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 221875Victoria Hall  DundeeScotland 
Item 2 of 221876Rattray Street Baptist Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 3 of 221876Trinity EU Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 4 of 221877Improvement Act Tenements, Victoria Road  DundeeScotlandExecuted Aitken's design
Item 5 of 221877Tenement, Victoria Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 6 of 221877Tenement, Victoria Road and Infirmary Lane  DundeeScotland 
Item 7 of 221885Tay Square UP Church  DundeeScotlandRenovation
Item 8 of 221885Tenement of mansion flats, Singleton Place, Baxter Park Terrace  DundeeScotland 
Item 9 of 221886Dundee High School, gymnasium block  DundeeScotland 
Item 10 of 221886High School for Girls  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Fairley though no longer in partnership officially
Item 11 of 221888The Esplanade, ornamental lake  DundeeScotlandProposed - design illustrated
Item 12 of 221889St Paul's Cathedral Schools  DundeeScotlandAdapted and executed design by Reverend Edward Sugden
Item 13 of 221890Factory block, Albert Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 14 of 221890Ward Road public gymnasium  DundeeScotlandDesigned by Fairley; executed by McCulloch
Item 15 of 221891Saloons and tenement, Crichton Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 16 of 221891South west corner building, Thorter Row  DundeeScotland 
Item 17 of 221893Sleepyhillock CemeteryMontrose AngusScotlandBuildings of Scotland gives McCulloch & Fairley as the architects for this but this partnership finished well before and the McCulloch & Jamieson partnership only began in 1894. At the opening ceremony the design of the cemetery is given as 'Mr McCulloch' and 'Mr Bruce' burgh surveyor of Montrose supervised the work.
Item 18 of 221896Errol Terrace, Victoria Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 19 of 221898Lorne Primary School  EdinburghScotlandAddition
Item 20 of 221905School at New ElginNew Elgin MorayshireScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 21 of 221911Post OfficeNewport-on-Tay FifeScotland 
Item 22 of 221913Masonic Hall  DundeeScotlandReconstruction


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1The Piper of Dundee*  Biography, check date

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Harry Band