George Beattie

15/06/1872 – North Briton – The late Mr George Beattie. This gentleman, a well-known citizen and architect, formerly a member of the great firm of Wm. Beattie & Sons, builders, died at his residence is Grove Street, of heart disease, on Tuesday last. The deceased gentleman, in conjunction with his son William, has set his mark upon the city of Edinburgh, having planned and superintended the erection of some of its meet remarkable edifices.  Among the principal buildings which have been erected from designs by this firm are Craiglockhert Poorhouse, in which were embodied the result, of life-long investigations as to the most improved sanitary appliances for domestic architecture; the splendid business premises of Messrs Cowan, papermakers in West Register Street; the large and handsome block of building at the south end of St David Street, occupied by Messrs Kennington & Jenner; the new hotel in course of erection in Market Street, at the south end of Waverley Bridge; and St Mary’s Brewery, Canongate. During the whole of his professional career, Mr Beattie took a lively interest in sanitary improvements. We may mention that when in 1848, after public attention had been directed to the desirableness of the erection of an improved class of dwelling houses for the working classes and certain gentlemen had invited architects to prepare plans of this description, the plans prepared by Mr Beattie were considered the most suitable, and the tenements known as Ashley Buildings, Canongate, were erected from these plans. These buildings, we believe, were the first of their kind erected in this city. Mr Beattie gained some celebrity as an inventor. Among his achievements in this respect is the atmospheric door spring, which be patented, and which is now used in most of the banks in town. He also brought out and registered what are known as “perforated ventilating bricks,” which are found of so much value in a sanitary point of view. His reputation as a valuator stood very high; indeed, he was quite an authority in this respect. He held the office of Valuator to the City Improvement Trust up to the time of his death. About 1845 be was associated with Mr Kirkwood, of the firm of Kirkwood & Kemp, the eminent plumbers in Edinburgh, in a visit to England for the purpose of investigating into the general state of plumber work and sanitary appliances. One of the results of this visit was the application of a number of improvements on the former way of fitting up houses. In 1849 he was elected secretary to the Society of High Constables; the following year he was elected treasurer of the same body, and in 1851 he had the honour to be chosen as their Moderator. He was a member of the Merchant Company and of the Chamber of Commerce for many years. During the last eighteen months, Mr Beattie has been unable, from weak health, to take what had been his accustomed active and energetic share in the business of the firm of which he was the head. His mental powers, however, continued unimpaired till the last, and within a week of his disease, he was able to take drives in his phaeton. The cause of death was heart disease. The funeral took place yesterday at two o’clock, the plans of interment being the West Churchyard. We understand that his son and partner, Mr William Beattie, will now carry on the business of the firm.

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