Basic Biographical Details

Name: David McArthy
Designation: Architect
Born: 1854
Died: 6 July 1926
Bio Notes: David McArthy was born in 1854, the son of John McArthy, coachmen's yardsman, and Christine Durran. He was articled to Robert Rowand Anderson and John Starforth but his RIBA nomination paper does not give dates or the reason for the change. He then acted as an assistant in an unspecified practice, spending his holidays travelling to Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Brussels, Antwerp and elsewhere. He commenced business on his own account in Edinburgh in 1880 with a practice at 2 Lothian Road. In 1884 McArthy was described as 'sole agent for Cook's patent continuous baking ovens' suggesting that in the early years bakeries had been among his more important clients.

In or shortly after 1884 McArthy entered into a partnership with John Watson, hitherto Robert Rowand Anderson's chief assistant, their office being first at 33 South Castle Street and moving to 137 George Street c.1889 and then to 25 Frederick Street in 1900. Of Watson, Thomas Forbes Maclennan remarked: 'In competitive work, he frequently had the hardest of luck. While in partnership with McArthy, their design for the SSC Library was placed first, and again their design for Ayr Public Library was placed first but in neither case did the work come their way.'

In 1906 the partnership was dissolved. Watson moved out and set up his own office first at 24 Castle Street and then at 27 Rutland Street where he seems to have remained until at least 1923. McArthy remained at 25 Frederick Street. He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by James Bow Dunn and the Edinburgh Architectural Association.

McArthy was active in public life. He entered the Town Council in 1903, becoming a magistrate in 1914 and senior Baillie in 1916-17, but after the completion of the Royal Dick Veterinary College he does not seem to have much business. He was an amateur photographer and historian and held a series of lantern lectures on the Royal Mile.

He was in poor health for some years before his death on 6 July 1926. He was survived by his widow Agnes McCracken.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1115, West Catherine Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1877  
Item 2 of 112, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 18781884 or c. 1885 
Item 3 of 1133, South Castle Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1884c. 1889 
Item 4 of 1123, Maitland Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1885c. 1887 
Item 5 of 11Viewbank Villa, Viewforth, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1887c. 1891 
Item 6 of 11137, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 18891900 
Item 7 of 1112, North Park Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1892c. 1925 
Item 8 of 1125, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1895c. 1919Watson separates c.1906. McArthy remains at this address
Item 9 of 116, Albyn Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1918c. 1925In practice on his own
Item 10 of 1112, Stafford Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1926 In practice on his own
Item 11 of 1114, Thirlestane Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1926  

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 3John StarforthAfter 1870 Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3(Sir) Robert Rowand Andersonc. 1870(?) Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3McArthy & Watson18841906Partner 

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 5Robert McDowall Symonds 1913Assistant 
Item 2 of 5Robert McDowall Symonds19061910Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5Alexander Ross Lindsay1906After 1911AssistantWith the exception of a period of 8 months working for Carmichael & Sharman
Item 4 of 5Robert Davidson GoodfellowMay 1918May 1923Apprentice 
Item 5 of 5James Fulton Ford19191920Draughtsman 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Bow Dunn20 July 1911for Licentiateship

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 40 Fountainhall  East LothianScotlandRepairs and restoration - date unknown
Item 2 of 40 Tron Church  EdinburghScotlandRepairs and redecoration - date unknown
Item 3 of 401881Tenements on Marchmont CrescentMarchmont EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 401883Tenement, Marchmont Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 40After 1884126 Princes Street  EdinburghScotlandExtension/reconstruction
Item 6 of 40After 1884Craigleith Poorhouse, probationer's pavilionCraigleith EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 40After 1884Cramond Parish Church HallCramond EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 40After 1884Gorebridge Free ChurchGorebridge MidlothianScotlandInterior decoration
Item 9 of 40After 1884Mission Hall  EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 40After 1884Newton DonKelso RoxburghshireScotlandInterior plasterwork; additions; reconstruction of stables
Item 11 of 40188762-76 West Port  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 401888Library for Solicitors to the Supreme Courts of Scotland  EdinburghScotlandFirst premiated competition design (entered jointly with George Mackie Watson); James Bow Dunn received commission
Item 13 of 4018891-8 East Fettes Avenue  EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 40After 1889The HirselColdstream BerwickshireScotlandAlterations - date unknown
Item 15 of 401891Ayr Public LibraryAyr AyrshireScotlandCompetition design - placed third: apparently initially placed first. Design prepared jointly with George Mackie Watson
Item 16 of 401893St Cuthbert's Parish Church Hall  EdinburghScotlandWon in competition
Item 17 of 401894Nos 1-3 George Pape's Widows' CottagesRoseburn EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 401895Gorgie Free Church and HallGorgie EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 40c. 1895RubislawMorningside EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 40189626-28 Polwarth Terrace  EdinburghScotland 
Item 21 of 401898Bangour Village AsylumUphall West LothianScotlandWon competition for design of administration block - and awarded first premium, but not the job
Item 22 of 401899Forfar Fever HospitalWhitehills, Forfar AngusScotlandWon competition, but T M Cappon awarded job
Item 23 of 401899Midlothian County Council Buildings  EdinburghScotlandPlaced third in competition (entered jointly with John Watson)
Item 24 of 401899Tenement, WestgateNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 25 of 401900Beechmount HouseMurrayfield EdinburghScotlandHouse, lodge, stable and approach road
Item 26 of 401900Falkirk Public LibraryFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 27 of 401900St Stephen's UF ChurchComely Bank EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 28 of 401901House for Mr DottColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 401902(?)1-7 Roseburn Cliff  EdinburghScotland 
Item 30 of 401902Roseburn Cliff gatepiers  EdinburghScotland 
Item 31 of 401903Industrial School for GirlsGilmerton EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 401903PinkhillColinton EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 33 of 401904Hamilton Municipal Buildings and Public LibraryHamilton LanarkshireScotlandAwarded 2nd prize in competition
Item 34 of 40190527 Wester Coates Avenue  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 401905St Adrian's ChurchAnstruther Easter FifeScotlandInternal refit, including elaborate scheme of redecoration and refurnishingefit
Item 36 of 401906Dublin Street Baptist Church SchoolCanonmills EdinburghScotlandRemodelling of school
Item 37 of 401909University of Edinburgh, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons  EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 401911Cramond Parish ChurchCramond EdinburghScotlandActed on behalf of the heritors as consulting architect.
Item 39 of 401912Dean Bank House Girls Institution  EdinburghScotland 
Item 40 of 401921Longstone Housing EstateLongstone EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v19 no1431