Archibald Leitch bigraphy, stories - British architect

Archibald Leitch : biography

27 April 1865 - 25 April 1939

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

Born in Glasgow, Leitch's early work was on designing factories in his home city and in Lanarkshire, with the sole survivor 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.http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=202257 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

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]] 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:

  • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London
  • Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
  • Bramall Lane, Sheffield
  • Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
  • Celtic Park, Glasgow
  • Craven Cottage, Fulham, London
  • Dalymount Park, Dublin
  • Deepdale, Preston
  • The Den, New Cross, London
  • Dens Park, Dundee
  • The Dell, Southampton
  • Ewood Park, Blackburn
  • The Double Decker stand (The Kop), Filbert Street, Leicester
  • Fratton Park, Portsmouth
  • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Hampden Park, Glasgow
  • Home Park, Plymouth
  • Ibrox Park, Glasgow
  • Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
  • Lansdowne Road, Dublin
  • Leeds Road, Huddersfield
  • Molineux, Wolverhampton
  • Old Trafford, Trafford, Greater Manchester
  • Park Avenue, Bradford
  • Roker Park, Sunderland
  • Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
  • Saltergate, Chesterfield
  • Selhurst Park, South Norwood, London
  • Somerset Park, Ayr
  • Stamford Bridge, Walham Green, London
  • Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
  • Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London
  • Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh
  • Valley Parade, Bradford
  • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • West Ham Stadium, Custom House, London
  • White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London
  • Windsor Park, Belfast

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.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine