Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
John Baird II
(1816-93)
Baird trained with Alexander Watt before joining David Hamilton 's practice, where he stayed until 1843.

He assisted Hamilton on most of his later buildings and eventually became a partner of Hamilton's son-in-law, James Smith.

After they parted, he entered into partnership with Alexander 'Greek' Thomson and later became his brother-in-law when both were married in a double ceremony to the grand-daughters of Peter Nicholson.

They worked together on most of Thomson's best known buildings but it was Thomson's individuality which is most evident.

Pollok Academy, 2097 Pollokshaws Road (1856, dem. 1968), designed when Baird was architect to the Stirling Maxwell family, the local landowners, has been identified by Frank Worsdall as being an example of a project in which Thomson assisted Baird. Baird enlarged the school in 1874-5.

In 1860, he rebuilt Haggs Castle, 100 St. Andrew's Drive, the Maxwell's former seat, as a house for their estate factor.

He also built houses in Dumbartonshire (Rosslea) and Fife (Balsusney), and St. Peter's Church and Parsonage, Kirkaldy.

His other Glasgow work includes the New East End Theatre, Tobago Street and Stevenson Street (1876, dem.), and the reconstruction of the interior of David Hamilton's Hutchesons' Hospital, 158 Ingram Street (1876), where he inserted a splendid new hall, a grand staircase and ground floor boardroom and offices.

Together with most Glasgow architects, he participated in the City Chambers competition of 1881, submitting his entry anonymously and unsuccessfully under the motto Light and Air.

An authority on the city's architectural heritage, he also served as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects and was a Captain in the 1st Lanarkshire Volunteers. His obituary in the RIBA Journal, was written by the artist William 'Crimea' Simpson.

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