Basic Biographical Details

Name: Swanston & Syme
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1904
Ended:  
Bio Notes: The partnership between John Daniel Swanston and William Syme was formed in 1904, the office being located in Redburn Wynd, Kirkcaldy.

Swanston (b. Dundee 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. Like many other architects, Swanston was an enthusiastic volunteer and was commissioned in the 1st Fife Royal Garrison Artillery. After the First World War broke out, he was commissioned as a captain in the Black Watch and was for a time commandant of Lewes prisoner-of-war camp in Sussex.

No details are currently known of Syme, who 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 architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Redburn Wynd, Kirkcaldy, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1904After 1911 

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 3John Daniel Swanston1904 Partner 
Item 2 of 3William Syme1904 Partner 
Item 3 of 3William Walker19061907Chief Assistant(?) 

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 181893Auchterderran, CemeteryAuchterderran FifeScotland'Cemetery with sexton's lodge, mortuary and offices'
Item 2 of 181904Empire Theatre of VarietiesCowdenbeath FifeScotlandBegun by Swanston prior to partnership
Item 3 of 181904Kelso Town HallKelso RoxburghshireScotlandReconstruction and replacement of original 1816 building
Item 4 of 181905King's Theatre  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 181905Pair of villas, Balwearie Road and Balwearie CrescentKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 6 of 181905Tenement (and Malcolm's House at rear), High StreetKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 7 of 181905Villa, Balwearie RoadKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 8 of 181905Villa, Balwearie RoadKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 9 of 181906St Columba's Episcopal Church, LinktownKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 10 of 181907Fife Linoleum Company FactoryPathhead, Kirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 11 of 181907Gaiety TheatreMethil FifeScotland 
Item 12 of 181907Hippodrome Theatre  DundeeScotlandDesigns
Item 13 of 181908Hall for Bowhill Public House Society LtdBowhill, Auchterderran FifeScotland 
Item 14 of 181909Alexandra Theatre  BelfastNorthern Ireland 
Item 15 of 181909King's Theatre (and tenement)Kirkcaldy FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 181913Dunfermline Opera House and HippodromeDunfermline FifeScotlandNew interior within existing shell
Item 17 of 181935Open-Air Swimming PoolKirkcaldy FifeScotlandSwanston responsible
Item 18 of 18Early 1900sPair of villasKirkcaldy FifeScotland'Possibly' (HS)

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   
Item 2 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1914    
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1923    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Dr John Swanston, 11 July 1990
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no2099 (microfilm reel 16) (declaration only - other papers missing)