© All rights reserved. Building News 15 August 1890 © All rights reserved. © Glasgow Institute of Architects 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Malcolm Stark
Designation: Architect
Born: 1854
Died: c. 1935(?)
Bio Notes: Malcolm Stark was born in Kirkintilloch in 1854, the son of Malcolm Stark, porter, and his wife Elizabeth. He was apprenticed to William N Tait of Glasgow c.1870. On completing his apprenticeship he spent about two years as an assistant in several Glasgow offices prior to commencing practice in Glasgow on his own account c.1876, the publication of his competition designs for Greenock Municipal Buildings almost immediately establishing his reputation as an outstanding classical designer. At the time of the 1881 Census Stark was visiting Rev William Gillespie, minister of the Free West Church at Airdire, though how he knew Gillespie is unclear.

In 1883 or 1884 Stark entered into a short-lived partnership with James Lindsay, perhaps only for the purpose of entering the New Admiralty and War Office competition, but this was quickly dissolved if ever formalised. A short time later he opened an Edinburgh office, possibly encouraged by the second prize which had been awarded to him in the Edinburgh Municipal buildings competition.

In 1890 Stark took into partnership Fred Rowntree, born in Scarborough in 1860 of a Quaker family with Glasgow connections. This brought in Gray, Dunn & Company (biscuit manufacturers) as a client, Rowntree having married Mary Gray, one of the Grays' daughters. The partnership concentrated on competitions, several of them assessed by Alfred Waterhouse, but despite the excellence of Stark's drawings it was never quite successful in national competitions, only just missing the commission for Belfast City Hall. As he ruefully put it himself, he was always 'near it - very near it'. The only significant win which came the partnership's way was Govan District Asylum. The partnership was dissolved in 1900, as Stark's failure to secure a major commission in national competitions had brought about a decline in health and alcoholism. As a person he may have been slightly unstable; 'Quiz' described him as 'very impressionable' and as having 'run the gamut of most religious sects from the Salvation Army upwards'. Most of his executed commissions were mundane: only the Blochairn, Glasgow and Gilfillan, Dundee churches gave any indication of his formidable talent.

After Rowntree left for London, Stark practised alone until at least 1903; his date of death is not yet known. He seems to have recovered his health and was still alive, apparently living in England, not long before 1935, at which date W R Lethaby wrote that Stark had recently visited Philip Webb's church at Brampton, Cumberland.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6167, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1879After 1890 
Item 2 of 620, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1887  
Item 3 of 6Ainslee, , Scotstounhill, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1888  
Item 4 of 624, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1888c. 1890 
Item 5 of 6189, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18921894 or 1895 
Item 6 of 6249, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1894 or 1895After 1899 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3William Nairne Tait (or William Nairn Tait)c. 1870c. 1875Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Malcolm Stark & James Lindsayc. 1884c. 1884Partner 
Item 3 of 3Stark & Rowntree18901900Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Alexander Gardner18781883Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Charles Crawford18861890Apprentice 

Buildings and Designs

This architect 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 751877Alexandria Methodist ChurchAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 2 of 751879Greenock Municipal BuildingsGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 3 of 751880Glasgow Municipal Buildings  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful design for first competition
Item 4 of 751880Proposed UP ChurchGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandDesign exhibited - probably unsuccessful competition entry
Item 5 of 751880Tenement, Leven StreetPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 751881Two tenements, Leven Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 751884New Admiralty and War OfficeWhitehall LondonEnglandAwarded £600 premium, though did not secure job
Item 8 of 751885Blochairn Free Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 75c. 1885MiddlecroftKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 10 of 751886Edinburgh Municipal Buildings  EdinburghScotlandSecond premiated competition design
Item 11 of 751887Gilfillan Memorial Church  DundeeScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 12 of 751888Dennistoun Evangelical Union ChurchDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 751889Cathedral of St John the DivineNew York New YorkUnited States of AmericaCompetition design
Item 14 of 751889Lennox Temperance HotelDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 15 of 751889Rockvilla UP ChurchPossilpark GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 75Before 1889AinsleaScotstounhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 75Before 1889SherwoodScotstounhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 751890Govan District AsylumGovan GlasgowScotlandDesign commission (won in competition)
Item 19 of 751890London County Council Municipal Lodging House  LondonEnglandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 20 of 75Before 1890Church, Market PlaceArbroath AngusScotland 
Item 21 of 75Before 1890CuilvonaLoch Ard, Aberfoyle PerthshireScotland 
Item 22 of 75Before 1890Ferriemill  StirlingshireScotland 
Item 23 of 75Before 1890Mission HallArbroath AngusScotland 
Item 24 of 75Before 1890Mission HallLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 25 of 75Before 1890Mission HallCockenzie East LothianScotland 
Item 26 of 75Before 1890Mission HallWhifflet, Coatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 27 of 75Before 1890Mission HallKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 28 of 75Before 1890Mission HallCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 29 of 75Before 1890Park House  DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 30 of 75Before 1890The KnowePort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 31 of 75Before 1890Villa at BarrheadBarrhead RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 32 of 75Before 1890Villa at CoatbridgeCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 33 of 75Before 1890Villa at DumbartonDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 34 of 75Before 1890Villa at KilsythKilsyth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 35 of 75Before 1890Villa at LeedsLeeds YorkshireEngland 
Item 36 of 751891Glasgow Art Gallery and MuseumKelvingrove GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - reached second tier
Item 37 of 751891Rowntree's Cocoa WorksYork YorkshireEngland 
Item 38 of 751891Society of Friends Building  DundeeScotlandDesign of elevation in consultation with William Mackison as part of Whitehall Street and Crescent improvement act redevelopment
Item 39 of 751892Kirkintilloch Original Secession ChurchKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 40 of 751892National SchoolsSnainton YorkshireEnglandDesign exhibited
Item 41 of 751892St Pancras Municipal BuildingsSt Pancras LondonEnglandThird (or second?) premiated competition design
Item 42 of 751892Walsall Town HallWalsall StaffordshireEnglandUnsuccessful competition entry
Item 43 of 751893Biscuit Factory of Gray, Dunn & Co, Kinning ParkKinning Park GlasgowScotlandExtension (115 Stanley Street)
Item 44 of 751893Pump Room and Municipal Buildings extensionBath SomersetEnglandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 45 of 751893The Mount SchoolYork YorkshireEnglandGymnasium
Item 46 of 751894Adult SchoolScarborough YorkshireScotland 
Item 47 of 751894Miss Maris Woodhead's School for Ladies, Gymnasium, WestlandsScarborough YorkshireScotland 
Item 48 of 751894Radnor Park UF ChurchClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 49 of 751894ResidenceHarrogate YorkshireEnglandDesign exhibited
Item 50 of 751894Society of Friends Mission Hall and InstituteScarborough YorkshireEngland 
Item 51 of 751894Temperance Hall, ScalbyScarborough YorkshireScotland 
Item 52 of 751894UP ChurchBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 53 of 751895Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Queen's Rooms  LondonEnglandWith George Walton
Item 54 of 751895John Rowntree & Sons CaféScarborough YorkshireEnglandWith George Walton
Item 55 of 751895Lady Artists' Club, Blythswood Square  GlasgowScotlandDesigns for Fancy Fair, with George Walton
Item 56 of 751895Shopfront for Neilson, Shaw and Macgregor  GlasgowScotland 
Item 57 of 751896Belfast Town Hall  BelfastNorthern IrelandFirst premiated competition design, but commission subsequently awarded to Alfred Brumwell Thomas
Item 58 of 751896Glasgow School of Art  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 59 of 751896GlenbankLenzie Dunbartonshire/LanarkshireScotlandRemodelled, with George Walton designing interior
Item 60 of 751896Govan District Asylum, gate lodge  GlasgowScotlandHS attribution - 'presumably'
Item 61 of 751896Lady Artists' Club, Blythswood Square  GlasgowScotlandGallery, with George Walton
Item 62 of 751896William Rowntree's department storeScarborough YorkshireEnglandTea room and extensions, with George Walton
Item 63 of 751897Asylum for the Insane  BeirutSyriaDesign exhibited
Item 64 of 751897Town Hall  CardiffWalesUnsuccessful competition design
Item 65 of 751897Victoria Place Baptist ChurchGovanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 66 of 751898RiseboroughScarborough YorkshireScotland 
Item 67 of 751898Rowntree's Cocoa WorksYork YorkshireEnglandFurther additions
Item 68 of 751898UP ChurchNewlands GlasgowScotland 
Item 69 of 751899Cartwright Memorial HallBradford YorkshireEnglandCompetition design
Item 70 of 751899Two lodges  YorkshireEngland 
Item 71 of 751899Workshops for George Walton & Co  GlasgowScotlandWith Stark & Rowntree
Item 72 of 751900Glasgow Royal Infirmary  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 73 of 751903Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, second competition, second limited stage  LiverpoolEnglandshortlisted design
Item 74 of 751919Glasgow Housing competition, plan of house with fitments and equipment  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - first prize
Item 75 of 751919Glasgow Housing competition, tenements at Coplawhill, layout and plans  GlasgowScotlandAwarded third premium of £50 with Malcolm Stark


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Lethaby, W R1935Philip Webb and his work   
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Quiz17 August 1893  p226 - biographical article

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal recollections of A G Lochhead and Alexander Wright: both regarded his bad luck in competitions as tragic.


© All rights reserved. Building News 15 August 1890 

© All rights reserved. Building News 15 August 1890

© All rights reserved. © Glasgow Institute of Architects 

© All rights reserved. © Glasgow Institute of Architects