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Obituary: Charles McKean (1946 to 2013)

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Former secretary and treasurer of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Charles McKean has died aged 67

The Fettes College-educated academic who was credited with resurrecting Scotland’s professional institute passed away yesterday (29 September).

According to an RIAS statement, McKean ‘transformed’ the organisation during his fifteen years at the helm between 1979 and 1994.

Major reforms by McKean included setting up the institute’s Rutland Press publishing arm and launching RIAS’s convention, consultancy, insurance, competitions and practice services enterprises.

RIAS president Iain Connelly said: ‘Charles McKean was an extraordinary and inspiring individual. His combination of infectious enthusiasm and immense erudition has helped transform Scotland’s attitude to our historic architecture.

‘He shook up the Royal Incorporation during the 1980’s to create a vital and relevant organisation which continues to participate fully in the public life of Scotland. He was also a very nice man and a devoted husband and father. He will be profoundly missed by all those who knew him.’

McKean was professor of Scottish architectural history at the University of Dundee from 1995 until his death and was The Times’ architecture critic between 1977 to 1983.

He also chaired the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust from 2006 to 2012 and was president of the Scottish Castles Association when he passed away.

McKean is survived by his wife, Margaret and his sons, Andrew and David.






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