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Reid, Robert

Reid, Robert (1774–1856). Chief Government Architect in Scotland in the first half of C19. Influenced by the style of the Adam brothers, his public buildings are less attenuated than theirs. Although castigated by some of his contemporaries for dullness, his contributions do much for the urban fabric of Edinburgh, and include the Law Courts, Parliament Square (1804–40), the Bank of Scotland on The Mound (1802–6—with Richard Crichton, c.1771–1817)), the exterior of the Signet and Advocates' Houses, Parliament Square (1810–12), St George's Church, Charlotte Square (1811–14—the cupola of which resembles those by Gontard in the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin (1780–5), a fact noted by Schinkel when he visited Edinburgh in 1826), the handsome Custom House, Leith (1811–12), and the layout of the northern extension of Edinburgh New Town, including Cumberland, Dublin, Dundas, Dundonald, Great King, India, Nelson, Northumberland, and Scotland Streets, as well as Abercromby Place, Drummond Place, Fettes Row, Gloucester Place, Heriot Row, Mansfield Place, and Royal Crescent (from 1802). This New Town layout was prepared with William Sibbald, but Reid designed the main elevations. He was also responsible for 33–46 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh (1807–15), the Academy, Perth (1803–7), the Prison, Perth (1810–12), and part of Downpatrick Gaol, Co. Down, Ireland (1824–30). The Library and Picture Gallery he designed at Paxton House, Berwickshire (1812–13), is arguably his best work. In 1809 he published Observations on the Structure of Hospitals for the Treatment of Lunatics, and designed the Lunatic Asylum, Morningside, Edinburgh (1809–10—demolished).

Bibliography

Colvin (1995);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Youngson (1966)

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