Basic Biographical Details

Name: Dunn & Findlay
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1894
Ended: 1905
Bio Notes: James Bow Dunn was born in Pollokshields, Glasgow, on 16 January 1861, the son of David Dunn and his wife Margaret Robertson Thomson; an earlier son of the same name had been born on 12 December 1859 but had not survived. His family moved to Edinburgh, where he was sent to George Heriot's School. In 1876 he was articled to James Campbell Walker and attended Heriot-Watt College, followed by travel in France, Belgium and Holland. From Walker's office he found a place in the Burgh Engineers Office c.1885 and conducted a small private practice on his own account from 1887. In that year he competed for Edinburgh Public Library under the pseudonym 'Triumphant Democracy' and came into some prominence when he was placed second to George Washington Browne by the assessor, Alfred Waterhouse. In May of the following year Dunn won the competition for the Library of the Society of Solicitors to the Supreme Courts of Scotland under the pseudonym 'Wisdom, Health and Beauty', the assessor in this case being John James Burnet. This win enabled him to set up business on his own account.

In 1894 Dunn took into partnership James Leslie Findlay, born 30 April 1868 and younger son of John Ritchie Findlay, proprietor of the Scotsman. Findlay was educated at Harrow and apprenticed to his father's architect Arthur George Sydney Mitchell. As he never sought membership of the RIBA precise dates are lacking, but he designed Dean Path Buildings for his father in 1885 at the early age of 17, presumably while still in Mitchell's office. The partnership was probably formed for the purpose of building the Scotsman's new buildings (begun 1898) but had got off to an even earlier start with an important competition win for the Adam Smith Memorial and Beveridge Halls and Library in Kirkcaldy in 1894.

Although the partnership prospered principally from commissions from Findlay's father, by 1901 Dunn was advising Robert Stodart Lorimer that 'a small business that you look after yourself with a few fellows is the best.' By that date Dunn was already undertaking commissions in his own name only. The partnership was closed in 1905 although Dunn and Findlay continued to share offices until 1906.

Findlay designed little thereafter apart from his own house, Muirtown in Strathspey, being more interested in fishing, woodworking and the Volunteers. During the First World War he was Lieutenant Colonel commanding the First Lowland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery serving with the 51st Highland Division in France. After he was invalided out of the army he did not resume his architectural career. He died on 19 September 1952, survived by his wife Kathleen Marguerite Richardson of County Antrim, two sons and two daughters.

Dunn was admitted FRIBA on 5 June 1905. His proposers, somewhat surprisingly were all Glaswegian - John Keppie, Thomas Lennox Watson and David Barclay. From 1911 onwards Dunn began to develop a reputation which extended beyond Scotland, acquiring a significant country house practice in Northumberland. He was elected ARSA in 1918 and RSA in 1930, but by then he was in poor health. An operation originally scheduled for the beginning of the year was postponed because of his commitment to George Watson's School and not carried out until August. He died a week later on the 25th of that month. He had one son, Herbert, and two daughters.

Dunn is said to have been a discriminating art collector and acted as advisor to several friends and clients. John Keppie wrote of him that 'like all strong men he was a good hater [sic] and with his frankness of conviction one always knew where Dunn stood'.

Dunn's son Herbert continued the practice as J B Dunn & Partners, and then as J B Dunn & G L Martin, Martin having been his principal assistant for several years.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 394, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 18951896 
Item 2 of 335, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18961903 
Item 3 of 342, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1903  

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 9James Bow Dunn18941905Partner 
Item 2 of 9James Leslie Findlay18941905Partner 
Item 3 of 9James Aynsworth Lindsay18961900Senior Assistant 
Item 4 of 9John Dall18971905Assistant 
Item 5 of 9James Alexander ArnottMay 18981904Principal Assistant 
Item 6 of 9James Inch Morrisonc. 1898Before 1907Assistant 
Item 7 of 9David Alston Beveridgec. 1899c. 1902Assistant 
Item 8 of 9Donald MacPherson Gordon19011903Assistant 
Item 9 of 9Robert Thom Curriec. 19051905Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 92 15 Eglinton Crescent  EdinburghScotlandAlterations? No date. May be Dunn alone or later
Item 2 of 92 Custom House InnLinlithgow West LothianScotlandPossibly by Dunn & Findlay
Item 3 of 92 Hospital design   Scotland 
Item 4 of 92 Stables at Thornybauk  EdinburghScotlandDate unknown
Item 5 of 921894252-284 Bonnington Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 921894Adam Smith Memorial and Beveridge Halls and LibraryKirkcaldy FifeScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 7 of 921894Chisholm Trust Tenements  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 921894Mansion, 59-61 Inverleith PlaceInverleith EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 921894SlaughterhouseInnerleithen PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 10 of 92189514 Picardy Place  EdinburghScotlandGround floor frontage
Item 11 of 92189521 Charlotte Square  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 12 of 921895Bellevue HotelDunbar East LothianScotland 
Item 13 of 921895Building at 24-25 Home Street, including National Bank of ScotlandLochrin EdinburghScotlandShops and shop fronts
Item 14 of 921895Dean Path Buildings  EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 921895Hawthornbank BuildingsDean Village EdinburghScotland 
Item 16 of 921895North British Railway Hotel  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design
Item 17 of 921895Unidentified House at PerthPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 18 of 921895Union Club  EdinburghScotlandInternal alterations
Item 19 of 92After 1895Fleming Cottage HospitalAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 20 of 921896Bungalow for Henry EleyMilnathort Kinross-shireScotland 
Item 21 of 921896Dalmahoy House and lodgesRatho EdinburghScotlandNorth lodge
Item 22 of 921896Deaconess Hospital  EdinburghScotlandExtensions?
Item 23 of 921896Double villa, Marmion Road and Clifford RoadNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 24 of 921896Eskbank HouseMusselburgh MidlothianScotland 
Item 25 of 921896Gardener's CottageWalkerburn PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 26 of 921896Plewlands EstatePlewlands Estate EdinburghScotlandFeuing plan, houses, villas, etc
Item 27 of 92189741 Drumsheugh Gardens  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 28 of 921897Conservative Club  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 29 of 921897Gordon Parish ChurchGordon BerwickshireScotland 
Item 30 of 921897GyleburnLockerbie DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 31 of 921897Menstrie Church hallsMenstrie ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 32 of 921897Menstrie Parish ChurchMenstrie ClackmannanshireScotlandAlterations
Item 33 of 921897Perth Co-operative Society TenementsPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 34 of 921897Tenement Block with shopsTollcross EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 921897Tenements and ShopsGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 36 of 921897Tenements with shopsTollcross EdinburghScotland 
Item 37 of 921897Tenements, corner of Friar Street and Abbot StreetPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 38 of 921897Tenements, Gilmore Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 921897Villa at GullaneGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 40 of 921897Villa at GullaneGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 41 of 921898Bank Buildings Craigellachie BanffshireScotland 
Item 42 of 921898Double Villa, MusselburghMusselburgh MidlothianScotland 
Item 43 of 921898Harmeny House and LodgeBalerno MidlothianScotland 
Item 44 of 921898House for A C D VertGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 45 of 921898Muir Hall of Residence  EdinburghScotlandConverted from houses
Item 46 of 921898Villas, Murrayfield GardensMurrayfield EdinburghScotland 
Item 47 of 921898Wesleyan Methodist Mission Halls  EdinburghScotland 
Item 48 of 921899105-109 Nicolson Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 49 of 92189911-13 Douglas Crescent  EdinburghScotlandAttic storey added
Item 50 of 92189912-14 Princes Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 51 of 92189922, 24, 26, 30 Inverleith PlaceInverleith EdinburghScotlandArchitects commissioned by Sutherland & Sons
Item 52 of 921899Craighouse Terrace  EdinburghScotland 
Item 53 of 921899Methodist Central Hall  EdinburghScotland 
Item 54 of 921899QuarryknoweJoppa EdinburghScotland 
Item 55 of 921899Rentons, 10-15 Princes Street  EdinburghScotlandProposed alterations
Item 56 of 921899Scotsman Buildings  EdinburghScotland 
Item 57 of 921899Scotsman Buildings extension  EdinburghScotland 
Item 58 of 921899St Mungo's Parish Church Hall  EdinburghScotland 
Item 59 of 921900Houses, Abinger GardensCorstorphine EdinburghScotland 
Item 60 of 921900Royal Riding AcademyLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 61 of 921900Terraced Villas and shopsMorningside EdinburghScotland'Continuous villas'.
Item 62 of 921900Villas, East End, GullaneGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 63 of 921900Currie Memorial Public hallLilliesleaf RoxburghshireScotland?
Item 64 of 92190134 Buckingham Terrace  EdinburghScotlandInterior work
Item 65 of 921901Dean Parish Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 66 of 921901Hill of BurnsCreetown KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 67 of 921901Upholsterer's at Silvermills  EdinburghScotland 
Item 68 of 921901Victoria Chambers  EdinburghScotland 
Item 69 of 921901Villa for Messrs D Sutherland and Sons  EdinburghScotland 
Item 70 of 921902House at BarntonBarnton EdinburghScotland 
Item 71 of 921902House for J Michael Brown  EdinburghScotland 
Item 72 of 921902NorthfieldColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 73 of 921902Offices and shop premises, 14-16 Frederick Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 74 of 921902Queen's Club  EdinburghScotland 
Item 75 of 921902Tenement, 198-206 Bruntsfield Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 76 of 921902Tenement, 208-226 Bruntsfield Place and 2-10 Merchiston Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 77 of 921902Tenements, Spottiswoode Street and Spottiswoode Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 78 of 921902Villa for J M BrownLundin Links FifeScotland 
Item 79 of 92190318 Alva Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 80 of 92190320 Hermitage Drive  EdinburghScotland 
Item 81 of 92190324 Ainslie Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 82 of 921903BellendenInnerleithen PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 83 of 921903Bisset's HotelGullane East LothianScotlandExtension
Item 84 of 921903Castle MenziesAberfeldy PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 85 of 921903Deaconess Hospital  EdinburghScotlandExtensions
Item 86 of 921903Henry Ballantyne Memorial InstituteWalkerburn PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 87 of 921903Houses and Villas, Plewlands TerracePlewlands Estate EdinburghScotlandUncertain if involved
Item 88 of 921903Life Association of Scotland, Head Office and Bedford Hotel  EdinburghScotlandPlans - alterations to Bedford Hotel
Item 89 of 921903Tenement block, South Street and Canal StreetPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 90 of 92190453, 55, 57, 59 Home Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to shop front
Item 91 of 921904BarnhillPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 92 of 921904Deaconess Hospital Mission Church  EdinburghScotlandCompleted by Dunn alone after dissolution of partnership


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 3Braidwood, Niall C1988Dunn and Findlay and The Scotsman Building RIBA Dissertation 1988 
Item 2 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 3Royal Scottish Academy1930Royal Scottish Academy 103rd Annual Report, 26 August 1930  pp19-21

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder29 August 1930v139 p334 - Dunn's obituary
Item 2 of 5RIAS Quarterly193034Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Dunn's obituary
Item 3 of 5RIBA Journal20 September 1930 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsDunn's obituary p711
Item 4 of 5Scotsman26 August 1930  Dunn
Item 5 of 5Scotsman20 September 1952  Findlay