Lorne, Francis

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Lorne, Francis

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Dates of existence

1889-1963

History

Francis Lorne was born in Falkirk on 30 March 1889. He was articled to the Falkirk architect Thomas Mair Copland in April 1905 and took classes at the Falkirk Science and Art School. At the end of his articles in May 1910 he obtained employment with John Burnet & Son in Glasgow, working on competition designs under Norman Aitken Dick, Burnet's Glasgow partner, until October when he joined Eugène Bourdon's day classes at Glasgow School of Architecture. After six months he left to work for Banister Fletcher & Sons in London, remaining with them for one year until April 1912 when he joined the London staff of the Office of Works, but in June 1913 he sailed for New York where he briefly joined the office of Cross & Cross to study American building. After the First World War broke out Lorne moved to Canada to serve with the Canadian engineers. By 1924 he had moved to the New York office of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, who died in that year, the firm thereafter becoming Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Associates. There he worked on buildings for St Lawrence University and the Brooklyn Law School, and by 1929 he was an associate with his name among those listed on the letterhead. In that same year he belatedly became a registered architect and a member of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Less than a year later, certainly by early August 1930, the Wall Street Crash had persuaded Lorne to return to London as a partner in Sir John Burnet & Partners, which then became Sir John Burnet Tait & Lorne following Burnet's semi-retirement to the status of consultant. As early as June 1933, after only three years in London, Lorne was appointed a member of the Council for Research on Housing Construction chaired by Lord Dudley and promoted by the Chartered Surveyors' Institute. It published its first report a year later on 14 June 1934, recommending a massive programme of slum clearance; and in the same year he designed the stand for the British Steelwork Association at the International Building Exhibition at Olympia and gave papers for the British Steelwork Association on the use of sheet steel in June, and on the use of steel in building and the elimination of timber in ship interiors in September. He retired at the age of seventy-one in 1960, and died in 1963.

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Sources

Dictionary of Scottish Architects

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