Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||James Maclaren & Sons |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||1893 |
|Ended: ||1908 |
|Bio Notes: ||James Maclaren took his eldest son George Gordon Maclaren into partnership in 1883, after the break-up of his partnership with George Shaw Aitken around March 1879 as a result of disagreements and litigation over the specification of stone from the Ferrybank estate near Cupar. |
The Ferrybank stone affair adversely affected the practice and George had neither London nor Edinburgh experience. In the early 1880s the patronage of Maclaren's most important client, the Cox family, gradually slipped away to the much more up-to-date John Murray Robertson whose inspiration was partly American, and although the firm still had a very substantial domestic practice from the Panmure estate feus, it had lost the commanding position it had previously enjoyed. Nevertheless Maclaren's position as father of the profession in Dundee was still very much evident when he called a meeting in June 1884 to devise a uniform set of rules for the measurement of the work of the various trades. His efforts led to the Dundee Mode of Measurement in 1898 and ultimately the Scottish National Building Code of 1915. At the June 1884 meeting Charles Ower observed that it was the first time the architects in the area had met professionally and proposed an organisation on the lines of London's Architectural Association. In the same month the Dundee Institute of Architecture Science and Art was founded with James Maclaren as its first president, 1884-86.
James Maclaren died at Ferrybank on 16 June 1893. Prior to his death he appears to have recognised that the practice was becoming out of date as a younger son, John Turnbull Maclaren, born on 19 April 1863, was sent to an unspecified office in the United States to gain experience, returning on his father's death as a partner. It appears that John Turnbull Maclaren practised briefly as 'J T Maclaren & Son' in the months just after his father's death. He exhibited a design for some work on Lyndhurst at the Glasgow Institute of Architects in 1893 under this name.
George Gordon Maclaren who had set up house in Invermark Terrace, Barnhill, retained his father's management of the Panmure feus for the Dalhousie Trustees and concentrated his interests in Broughty Ferry where he had become a parish councillor and a burgh commissioner, successfully promoting a scheme for a municipal gasworks, though not the scheme for municipal swimming baths and private baths of which he was the principal advocate. Stylistically his work was a pale version of his father's. In 1896 he suffered a heart attack and from the summer of 1898 he was confined to his house. He died on 31 June 1899, survived by a widow Isabella Stenhouse and a young family. He left a moveable estate of £1,633 15s 10d.
John Turnbull Maclaren continued the practice as sole practitioner into the early years to the twentieth century but his American experience was not significantly reflected in the firm's buildings. The more ambitious designs of the later 1890s and early 1900s were known to be the work of Andrew Graham Patrick, born in Perth in 1864. He had been recruited as leading draughtsman from David Smart's office in Perth in 1894. He had attracted the Maclarens' notice by winning an open competition at Port Townsend, USA, but his fiancé had declined to emigrate with him. In 1908 Maclaren took Charles Geddes Soutar into partnership, a move which took the practice back into the premier league, the office now being at 10 Reform Street. The practice was then known was Maclaren Sons & Soutar.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|10, Bank Street, Dundee, Scotland||Business|| || || |
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architectural practice:|
|Dundee Yearbook||1893|| || || ||James Maclaren obituary|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||2 April 1948|| || ||John T Maclaren|
|Dundee Advertiser||July 1899|| || ||George Gordon Maclaren (cutting in NMRS)|
|RIAS Quarterly||August 1948||no 72||Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)||John T Maclaren|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Personal information from William Salmond, William Patrick, James McIntosh Patrick, Ann Patrick, Stuart O Barron, Peter Young and Ian Gordon Lindsay|