Archibald Leitch

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Archibald Leitch
Archibald-Leitch.jpg
Born (1865-04-27)27 April 1865
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 25 April 1939(1939-04-25) (aged 73)
Nationality British
Projects Bramall Lane, Arsenal Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Celtic Park, Anfield, Craven Cottage, Hampden Park, Roker Park, Old Trafford, Villa stadium, Ibrox, Goodison Park, White Hart Lane, Fratton Park

Archibald "Archie" Leitch (27 April 1865 – 25 April 1939) was a Scottish architect, most famous for his work designing football stadia throughout the British Isles.

Early work[edit]

Born in Glasgow, Leitch's early work was on designing factories in his home city and in Lanarkshire, with the sole surviving example being the category A listed Sentinel Works at Jessie Street, Polmadie, just south of Glasgow city centre. In 1896 he became a member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, and later of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.[1] He moved into stadium design when he was commissioned to build Ibrox Park, the new home ground of his boyhood heroes Rangers, in 1899.

Stadium design[edit]

Leitch's stadiums were initially considered functional rather than aesthetically elegant, and were clearly influenced by his early work on industrial buildings. Typically, his stands had two tiers, with criss-crossed steel balustrades at the front of the upper tier, and were covered by a series of pitched roofs, built so that their ends faced onto the playing field; the central roof span would be distinctly larger, and would incorporate a distinctive pediment.

His first project in England was the design and building of the John Street Stand at Bramall Lane, which provided 3,000 seats and terracing for 6,000 and was dominated by a large mock-Tudor press box.

The double-decker 1926 Bullens Road 'MauretaniA' Stand at Goodison Park home of Everton FC
The Johnny Haynes stand at Craven Cottage, home of Fulham Football Club.
The Bill Struth Main Stand at Ibrox, home of Rangers Football Club.

Even after the Ibrox disaster of 1902, when 26 people were killed when a bank of terracing collapsed, Leitch was still in demand. Over the next four decades he became Britain's foremost football architect. In total he was commissioned to design part or all of more than 20 stadiums in the UK and Ireland between 1899 and 1939, including:

Many of his works have since been demolished for redevelopment (especially in wake of the Taylor Report and the move to all-seater stadiums), most notably the Trinity Road Stand at Villa Park, considered his masterpiece, which was demolished in 2000. The main stand and pavilion at Craven Cottage, The Main Stand At Tynecastle and the facade of the Main Stand at Ibrox (although the stand itself has been remodelled) still survive to this day; all are now listed buildings. He also came up with the formula that for every one person seated, two can stand.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=202257

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]