George Andrew Paterson

Architect; JHKM employee

Architect George Andrew Paterson (1876–1934) was born in Duntocher, near Clydebank 1 He was articled to John Honeyman & Keppie from 1892 until 1898, and first paid by them in December 1893. 2 In 1892 he enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art, where he studied until 1898. He gave his profession as 'architect' throughout. 3

Paterson won a series of student prizes, commencing with a silver medal in the 'National Competition among the Schools of Art in the United Kingdom' announced in 1895, for architectural design. In the government-sponsored National Competition of 1897, the Art School won 'twenty-one more medals than those awarded to the rest of the schools of art, art classes and science schools in Scotland taken together'. Paterson won the Alexander Thomson Scholarship, worth 60 in 1897. 4 The winning designs from among the '50,255 from 281 schools of art' submitted, were exhibited at the 'South Kensington' (now Victoria and Albert) Museum: gold medals were won by among others 'Mr George A. Paterson for a design for a memorial chapel'. 5 Glasgow received three gold medals: 'one qualification for a gold medallist is that he shall have obtained a first-class in the advanced stage' of the subject category. The Glasgow Herald reported that Paterson's chapel elevations showed 'suggestions for a decorative scheme in colour for the portico and dome' and his 'drawing of a church in St Vincent Street also does him credit'. James Black Fulton was a fellow prizewinner in 1897. 6

After he left John Honeyman & Keppie (he was last paid by them in December 1898), the Thomson bursary enabled Paterson to spend ten months in Italy. On his return in 1899, he entered the practice of A.[lexander] N.[isbet] Paterson, (no relation), in Glasgow, but only remained there for one year, as another prize enabled him to undertake a further foreign study-tour. 7

In his architectural directory entry for 1926, the only award that Paterson listed was 'Owen Jones Student, 1900', probably because this prestigious award was given by his fellow professionals at the Royal Institute of British Architects. There were five applicants for the 100 scholarship, the conditions being that the successful candidate should travel and study 'the application of colour as a means of architectural expression' for at least six months, and supply the RIBA with 'an original design in coloured decoration of a prescribed subject'. 8

Paterson set up his own practice in 1900, advertising in 1901 as 'Paterson, George Andrew, Architect, 143 W. Regent Street, ho.[use], Edinville, Dalmuir'. He entered into partnership with fellow Owen Jones studentship-winner (for 1899), John Stewart (c. 1869–1954), in 1901, at no. 143. The firm of 'Stewart & Paterson' moved between various central Glasgow addreses, finally taking premises at 16 Blythswood Square in 1913. 9

Paterson married Jessie Lennox McGeoch in 1903. Her father was William McGeoch (c. 1842–1919), of the prosperous interlinked ironmongery firms William McGeoch, Kemp & Co., and McGeoch & Co., which supplied architectural hardware for various Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh projects. 10 The couple later lived in the former home of the eminent architect William Leiper. 'Terpersie', in Helensburgh, had been built to Leiper's design in an 'English cottage style', with carved animal heads on the exterior, and 'Aesthetic'-style stained glass depicting Mary Queen of Scots. Paterson had purchased the house by May 1917. 11

Both Paterson and John Stewart were nominated as Licentiates of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1911, two of the many local architects proposed by John B. Wilson, during his presidency of the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA). Paterson was, in turn, elected a council-member of the GIA in 1913. 12

Paterson's skills were used during the First World War by the Royal Engineers. The 'Qualification Report on 202665 Paterson, G. A. ... as an architectural draughtsman', records his proficiency levels as 'skilled' and 'superior', for making working drawings, designing building details and copying. His 'superior' architectural draughtsmanship earned him two pay rises. 13

In February 1919 Stewart & Paterson were premiated in the Local Government Board for Scotland's housing competition. They were awarded 15 for a tenement design and 10 for a one-storey cottage, the objective being to supply model house-types and provide a panel of architects to assist local authorities to prepare housing schemes. Stewart & Paterson were judged 'well-qualified to design ... workmen's houses', 'so that building ... may be commenced as early as possible', to employ builders being discharged from the army. 14 The practice was appointed by the Burgh of Helensburgh to design 60 houses, tenders being invited in March 1920. 15

The individual work of John Stewart and G. A. Paterson has been characterised as 'not readily separable: they seem to have worked together and were accomplished designers in late Gothic, Scots Renaissance and Scots vernacular. In general their work strongly reflects Stewart's experience with Rowand Anderson and Frank Simon and Paterson's with Alexander Nisbet Paterson.' 16 They designed the Scottish Veterans' Garden Settlement, Callendar (1919–20), the Bridge of Allan war memorial, 'a simple obelisk' (1923), numerous private houses in Helensburgh (1920s), and St Ringan's Church, Castle Douglas (opened 1930). 17

In 1932, the partners showed 'photographs [of] the charming low-pitched parish church which Messrs Stewart & Paterson have placed very happily upon slightly rising ground at Giffnock' at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. They also laid out the small Rossie Place Housing Scheme in Auchterarder the same year. 18 When Paterson died suddenly at home in March 1934, his obituary noted his ecclesiastical buildings, 'St Gilbert's, Pollockshields ... and others at Netherlee, Balshagray and Broomhill. He took a keen interest in the affairs of the profession, serving ... on the Council of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. He was president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects in 1925–6'. 19 Paterson was partly responsible for the new conditions of contract drawn up by the professional governing bodies. The practice was continued by John Stewart, until his death in 1954. 20

Notes:

1: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk; Statutory Births, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [both accessed 19 April 2014].

2: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book, 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, p. 24.

3: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1876–90; Student Registers, information kindly provided by the Glasgow School of Art Archives, 12 March 2014.

4: Glasgow Herald, 29 July 1895, p. 4; Dundee Courier, 30 August 1897, p. 5.

5: London Standard, 30 July 1897, p. 4.

6: Glasgow Herald, 27 August 1897, p. 7.

7: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book, 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, p. 50, '1898 Dec. 30, Salaries ... Paterson, 3', Payment; 'George Andrew Paterson', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 19 April 2014].

8: F. Chatterton, ed., Who's Who in Architecture 1926, London: Architectural Press, 1926, p. 227; Glasgow Herald, 23 January 1900, p. 5.

9: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1901–02, pp. 486, 587; Glasgow Herald, 13 March 1934, p. 11; 'George Andrew Paterson' and 'John Stewart', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 19 April 2014].

10: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk; Statutory Marriages, Deaths, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [both accessed 19 April 2014]; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1902–3, p. 385.

11: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1916–17, p. 511; 1917–18, p. 502 (compiled in May each year); Doris Gentles, 'Some Architectural Gems and their Architects', in Stewart Noble, ed., 200 Years of Helensburgh, 1802–2002, Glendaruell, Argyll: Argyll Publishing, 2002, p.193.

12: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1911–12, pp. 1738; 'George Andrew Paterson' and 'John Stewart', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 19 April 2014].

13: British Army W.W. I Service Records, 1914–1920, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 19 April 2014].

14: Scotsman, 13 February 1919, p. 3; 24 February 1919, p. 3.

15: Scotsman, 13 March 1920, p. 3.

16: 'John Stewart', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 19 April 2014].

17: Scotsman, 28 May 1923, p. 9; 13 September 1930, p. 9; 'George Andrew Paterson', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 19 April 2014].

18: Scotsman, 24 May 1932, p. 6; 7 November 1932, p. 1.

19: Glasgow Herald, 12 March 1934, p. 1; 13 March 1934, p. 11.

20: John Begg, Tribute, Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 41, 14 April 1934, p. 588; Obituary, Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 41, 28 April 1934, p. 659; 'John Stewart: Architect Biography Report', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 19 April 2014].