Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Syme
Designation: Architect
Born: Before 1884
Died: c. 1923
Bio Notes: No details are currently known of the background of William Syme, who worked in partnership with John Daniel Swanston from 1904, the office being located in Redburn Wynd, Kirkcaldy.

Swanston (born in Dundee in 1868) had previously been in practice in Kirkcaldy with _____ Legge after serving an apprenticeship with William Simpson of Stirling, and assistantships with Leadbetter & Fairley of Edinburgh, Alexander Cullen of Glasgow and Hamilton and James Graham Fairley of Edinburgh. From his earliest years in Kirkcaldy he was prominent in public life, becoming town councillor for the Second Ward and a burgess in November 1900. He was convener of the Street Committee from November 1904 to November 1908.

Syme was also a town councillor but resigned this to undertake a commission for housing for the Town Council 1920-23. Syme appears to have formed a temporary partnership with William Williamson and William Barnet Wyllie c. 1920 for the purpose of housing scheme work, whilst remaining in partnership with Swanston. He predeceased Swanston, the latter thereafter practising alone until he retired in 1951 at the age of eighty-three.

The practice specialised in theatre, cinema and public house work, mostly in a bold neo-baroque or half-timbered neo-Tudor idiom.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Redburn Wynd, Kirkcaldy, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1904Before 1918 
Item 2 of 2Millie Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1918 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 2Swanston & Syme1904 Partner 
Item 2 of 2Williamson, Wyllie & Syme1920 * Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 1Arthur Forbes Cargill1920Before 1924Apprentice 

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 251893Auchterderran, CemeteryAuchterderran FifeScotland'Cemetery with sexton's lodge, mortuary and offices'
Item 2 of 251904Kelso Town HallKelso RoxburghshireScotlandReconstruction and replacement of original 1816 building
Item 3 of 251905Pair of villas, Balwearie Road and Balwearie CrescentKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 4 of 251905Tenement (and Malcolm's House at rear), High StreetKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 5 of 251905Villa, Balwearie RoadKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 6 of 251905Villa, Balwearie RoadKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 7 of 251906St Columba's Episcopal Church, LinktownKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 8 of 251907Fife Linoleum Company FactoryPathhead, Kirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 9 of 251907Gaiety TheatreMethil FifeScotland 
Item 10 of 251907Hippodrome Theatre  DundeeScotlandDesigns
Item 11 of 251908Hall for Bowhill Public House Society LtdBowhill, Auchterderran FifeScotland 
Item 12 of 251909Alexandra Theatre  BelfastNorthern Ireland 
Item 13 of 251909King's Theatre (and tenement)Kirkcaldy FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 14 of 251910Free Church, Millie StreetKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 251912Ingleside Steel FoundryKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 16 of 251913Dunfermline Opera House and HippodromeDunfermline FifeScotlandNew interior within existing shell
Item 17 of 251914National Bank of Scotland, Pathhead BranchPathhead, Kirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 18 of 251918The CedarsKirkcaldy FifeScotlandDining room extension
Item 19 of 251920Bowhill Public House, No 1 GothenburgBowhill FifeScotlandClock tower added
Item 20 of 251920Fifty houses for Kirkcaldy Town CouncilKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 21 of 251920Forty houses, Overton RoadKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 22 of 251920Houses, Overton Road site, for Kirkcaldy Town CouncilKirkcaldy FifeScotland40 houses
Item 23 of 251920Twenty-four houses for Kirkcaldy Town CouncilKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 24 of 251923Houses, Overton Road site, for Kirkcaldy Town CouncilKirkcaldy FifeScotland32 houses
Item 25 of 25Early 1900sPair of villasKirkcaldy FifeScotland'Possibly' (HS)


Currently, there are no references for this architect. The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.