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Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Sir) Leslie Patrick Abercrombie (or Patrick Abercrombie)
Designation: Architect, Town Planner
Born: 6 June 1879
Died: 23 March 1957
Bio Notes: Sir Leslie Patrick Abercrombie (often known simply as Patrick Abercrombie) was an influential figure in national UK planning debates and garden-city initiatives. Influenced by Geddes and the cultured Liberal tradition of his time, he disagreed with extreme state dominated solutions to planning, such as land nationalization, and believed that ‘to the concept of sociologist and the discourses of the scientist must be added the imagination of the technician-artist, if we are to construct the environment in which the human organism may rightly function.’

His distinguished planning career began in 1914 when he won an important planning competition for Dublin, and in 1915 he took over from Stanley Davenport Adshead as Lever Professor of Civic Design at the University of Liverpool.

Patrick Abercrombie was involved in the Barlow Committee’s Report (1940) and played a lead role in a large number of important regional and city plans, including the Sheffield Plan (1923), the Clyde Valley Regional Plan (for which he was made the lead consultant due to his extensive planning experience, 1943-46), the County of London Plan (in collaboration with J H Forshaw, 1943) and the Greater London Plan (1944). In March 1946 he took on a planning consultancy in Addis Ababa (he completed a master plan for the city in 1956), and he was made the first president of the newly established International Union of Architects in 1948.

In March 1957, Sir Leslie Patrick Abercrombie died suddenly at his home in Aston Tirrald, Berkshire. A memorial service was held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in May 1957 with a speech given by Clough Williams-Ellis. Mr. Williams-Ellis also gave a radio appreciation of Abercrombie entitled 'The Genial Wizard', in the BBC Home Service on 25 July 1957 at 9:15pm.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, town planner:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Liberty Buildings, School Lane, Liverpool, EnglandBusinessBefore 1914After 1922 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect, town planner (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Peter Dunbar Lawson19451947Assistant 


RIBA Proposals

This architect, town planner proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Edward Foulkes Davies1928For Associateship
Item 2 of 3David Adams LumsdenLate 1922for Associateship
Item 3 of 3Jeffrey Rowbotham15 January 1946For Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect, town planner 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 10 Broom Estate housing developmentNewton Mearns RenfrewshireScotlandDrew up proposed layout for Estate in December 1933
Item 2 of 101923Sheffield Plan  SheffieldEngland 
Item 3 of 101935Pollok Estate  GlasgowScotlandAdvised Sir John Stirling Maxwell on layout of estate - with cottages and flats at 12 houses per acre
Item 4 of 101942City Plan, Hull  Yorkshire East RidingEngland 
Item 5 of 101942City Plan, Plymouth  DevonEnglandConsultant Planner, to advise on an outline plan
Item 6 of 101943Clyde Valley Regional Plan   ScotlandAppointed as private consultant to prepare the report.
Item 7 of 10c. 1943County of London Plan  LondonEngland 
Item 8 of 10c. 1944Greater London Plan  LondonEngland 
Item 9 of 101945City Plan for Edinburgh  EdinburghScotlandPlanning Consultant
Item 10 of 101957(?)City Plan for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  Addis AbabaEthiopiaPlan completed shortly before Abercrombie's passing.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect, town planner:
Item 1 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 5Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp13 Clyde Valley Regional Plan
Item 3 of 5Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingp68-72,81-2,126,178,195,264-5
Item 4 of 5RCAHMS1999Homebuilders: Mactaggart & Mickel and the Scottish housebuilding industry RCAHMSp 85-86
Item 5 of 5Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect, town planner:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder3 May 1957  p802
Item 2 of 3Builder19 July 1957  'News of the Week: Sir Patrick Abercrombie', p111
Item 3 of 3Builder3 April 1959  p664


© All rights reserved. © National Portrait Gallery, London 

© All rights reserved. © National Portrait Gallery, London