Archive for the ‘Church Architect’ Category

Semmens, John Nelson (1879-1960) was born in Toronto on 7 June 1879, the son of a Methodist minister. He was educated at Wesley College in Winnipeg and moved to Philadelphia where he graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked in the New York office of McKim Mead & White and was appointed by them in 1910 to act as superintending architect for their commission to design the Bank of Montreal in Winnipeg. Semmens chose to remain there for the rest of his career and worked under his own name except for a brief period from 1935 to 1939 when his nephew Harold N. Semmens assisted him. He became an acknowledged expert in school design and ‘set a standard for school work in Western Canada’ (comments from B. Evan Parry, R.A.I.C. Journal, vii, Oct. 1930, 374). His best works from the period include Issac Newton Junior High School (1922) and Daniel McIntyre Collegiate (1922), both designed in a faithful and carefully detailed Tudor Revival style. Semmens had a distinguished career with the Canadian Army, serving overseas during WWI with the Winnipeg Grenadiers and accepting the appointment as their commanding officer from 1917 onward. He was elected President of the Manitoba Assoc. of Architects in 1921 and again in 1941, and retired from practice after 1950. Semmens then moved to Victoria in 1957 where he died on 2 November 1960 (biog. in H. Boam, The Prairie Provinces of Canada, 1914, 103; obituary in Winnipeg Free Press, 5 Nov. 1960, 63). His portrait can be found at the offices of the Manitoba Assoc. of Architects, Winnipeg. from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

MARYLAND STREET METHODIST CHURCH, Maryland Street at Sargent Avenue, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 22 Oct. 1913, 69)

MacLEAN METHODIST MISSION, Alexander Avenue, 1921 (L. Murphy, Missions & Settlement Houses in Manitoba 1880-1930, 63, illus.)

SASKATOON, SASK., 3rd Avenue Methodist Church, 3rd Avenue North at 24th Street East, 1912-13 (Moose Jaw Evening Times, 17 June 1911, 1, descrip.; C.R., xxv, 5 July 1911, 60)

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Aylesworth, Marshall Benjamin (1850-1911) was active in many towns in central and northern Ontario where his eclectic and often elaborately decorated churches and institutional buildings were erected. Born in Ontario on 20 April 1850 he was the son of George Aylesworth of Northumberland County but no information can be found on his early education and training there. In 1878 he was employed as a draughtsman in Toronto, and 1879-80 worked as an architect in that city. He moved to Collingwood, Ont. in late 1880 and advertised his services as an instructor in architectural and mechanical drawing (Daily Messenger [Collingwood], 16 Dec. 1880, 1, advert.). He maintained a practise in Collingwood but the success of his career there was overshadowed by the untimely death of his young wife in May 1883 (obituary for Florence Stone in The Enterprise [Collingwood], 17 May 1883, 3). In early 1885 he returned to Toronto to open an office on King Street East in 1886 where he remained for the next ten years. During this period he travelled to Europe ‘in search of architectural knowledge’ (C.A.B., v, Jan 1892, 10) and published an extensive essay on his discoveries there entitled ‘A Chapter From My Notebook – Building Methods in Rome’ (C.A.B., viii, March 1895, 44-6). He appears to have left Toronto in 1896 but returned to the city in late 1899 and continued to work there until September 1902 when he moved to Fort William. It is here that his most important works in northern Ontario were built, including the Fort William City Hall (1903-04) and the Masonic Temple at Port Arthur (1910). He died at Sarnia, Ont. on 29 August 1911 after suffering a stroke while travelling by steamer from Detroit to Sarnia, and was buried at Warkworth, Northumberland Co., Ont. (biography and list of works in M. Bixby, Industries of Canada – Toronto and Environs, 1886, 190; obituary in Sarnia Observer, 30 Aug. 1911) from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

MARKDALE, ONT., Methodist Church, Toronto Street, 1885; burned 1905 (Markdale Standard, 26 Nov. 1885, 1, descrip.; 31 Dec. 1885, 4, descrip.)

ALMONTE, ONT., Methodist Church, 1887 (Almonte Gazette, 24 June 1887, 5, descrip.)

COLBORNE, ONT., Methodist Church, 1900-01 (First Century of Methodism in Colborne 1823-1923, 9, illus.)

WEST FORT METHODIST CHURCH, Gore Street, 1904 (C.A.B., xvii, Aug. 1904, 135)

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Fawcett, Robert William (1860-1920), son of John Fawcett of Lambton County, Ont. was active in Sarnia, Ont. for more than twenty years. He trained in the building trades in Toronto, and worked as a carpenter and builder in Toronto from 1889 until 1894 when he moved to Forest, Ont. and opened an office there as an architect. By 1896 he had moved to Petrolia, Ont. (Petrolia Advertiser, 12 March 1896, 1). In 1897 he had moved once again, this time to Sarnia, where his principal office was located, and he continued to operate a branch office in Petrolia (Sarnia Observer, 26 Nov. 1897, 3; C.A.B., x, Dec. 1897, 227). He remained there for the rest of his career, preparing designs for churches, schools, commercial and industrial buildings, and for private residences in Sarnia and in several surrounding towns in Lambton County. One of the largest commissions which he completed was that for Devine Street Methodist Church (1900; demol. 1983), an accomplished design in the Romanesque Revival style. No works have been recorded by Fawcett after 1915. He died in Sarnia on 15 February 1920 (obit. Sarnia Observer, 16 Feb. 1920, 5; 19 Feb. 1920). His successor was A.J. Carter of Sarnia (Sarnia Canadian Observer, 24 Feb. 1920, 6; inf. Ian Mason, Brigden, Ont.). from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

DEVINE STREET METHODIST CHURCH, Devine Street, at John Street, 1900; demol. 1983 (C.R., xi, 23 May 1900, 1, t.c.; Highlights Through The Years – Devine Street United Church 1875-1958, illus.)

MEDICINE HAT, ALTA., Methodist Church, 1900 (Forest Standard [Forest, Ont.], 1 March 1900, 5; C.R., xi, 29 Aug. 1900, 2)

FOREST, ONT., parsonage for the Methodist Church, James Street at Wellington Street, 1913 (Forest Standard, 3 April 1913, 4, descrip.)

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Hall, George William (1852-1935) was active in Brantford, Ont. where he maintained an office as an architect for nearly twenty years. Born in Ipswich, England on 17 March 1852, he was brought to Canada at a young age by his family and lived almost his entire career in Brantford. No information can be found on early education and training, but he began work as a contractor and builder, and by 1896 he began to list himself as an architect (Brantford City Directory, 1896-97, 282). He designed a variety of ecclesiastical, institutional, residential and industrial works in Brantford and surrounding towns, most often in a reserved Romanesque Revival style, evident in his design for the Methodist Church in Dunnville (1904). He also served as local supervising architect on the construction of the federal Post Office, designed by David Ewart and built 1913-15, but this commission appears to be last project he worked on, and no references to his activity as an architect have been found after this date. Hall died in Brantford on 3 October 1935 (obit. Brantford Expositor, 4 Oct. 1935, 6; 8 Oct. 1935, 6; Canadian Engineer [Montreal], lxxix, 15 Oct. 1935, 46). from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

EAGLE PLACE METHODIST CHURCH, South Brantford, 1903 (Free Press [London], 11 Aug. 1903, 10)

STONEY CREEK, ONT., Methodist Church, 1903 (C.R., xiv, 25 March 1903, 2)

DUNNVILLE, ONT., Grace Methodist Church, Broad Street at Maple Street, 1904 (L. Sorge, History of Grace United Church, 1980, 15, 17, illus.)

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Hepburn, Alexander (1830-1902) Stratford from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH, Erie Street, major addition, 1869 (Stratford Beacon, 29 April 1870, 2, descrip.; Christian Guardian [Toronto], 11 May 1870, 73, descrip.)

CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH, Erie Street, rebuilding of the church after a fire, 1897 (C.R., viii, 15 April 1897, 2)

MITCHELL, ONT., Methodist Church, 1886 (Stratford Beacon, 25 Dec. 1885, 1, descrip.)

CARLINGFORD, ONT., Methodist Church, 1892-93 (St. Mary’s Argus, 17 Nov. 1892, 5, t.c.)

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Dunham, David Elson (1840-1883) was born on 8 August 1840 at Hampstead Parish, Queen’s County, New Brunswick, and trained as a carpenter in nearby Woodstock. He moved to Saint John in 1863 and continued to work in the building trades, but appears to have not had any formal education or training in architecture. By 1870 he had begun to advertise his services as an architect, offering ‘…designs and plans for all classes of public and private buildings and landscape gardening’ (Saint John Daily Telegraph, 7 May 1870, 3, advert.). During the next decade he was remarkably prolific, and apparently financially successful. He was one of earliest Maritime architects to aggressively promote his work through the printed media of newspapers and commercial directories. In 1873 he boasted of having ‘… on hand over $200,000 worth of work’ and stated that his approach to architectural design was based on ‘beauty, convenience, strength and economy’ (Saint John Daily Telegraph, 23 Dec. 1873, 1, advert.). A lengthy editorial endorsement of this young architect , appearing on the same page of that paper, praised Dunham as a capable provincial designer who, unlike other trained architects ‘..had not enjoyed the advantage of European study or travel’ thus turning his lack of professional experience into a positive attribute. In 1875 Dunham inserted a full page advertisement in an early business directory called Saint John and Its Business, which included extensive lists of his commissions for brick buildings and wood buildings that had already been built to his designs in Saint John, and in neighbouring Portland and Carleton. This article included important biographical details of his background, his experience, and furnished details on the precise location of each project, the name of the client, and the cost of each building. Many of his designs were executed in the fashionable Second Empire style, yet most are orthodox products of their time, and lack the innovative refinements of scholarship which many leading architects in Montreal and Toronto brought to their own work. The Great Fire in Saint John in June 1877 must have been a depressing event for Dunham, as he witnessed the destruction of most of his buildings constructed between 1870 and 1877, but undeterred, he saw this as another business opportunity, and quickly formed a partnership in July 1877 with William P. Clarke, and collaborated with him until February 1878 when the partnership was dissolved. Dunham died in Saint John on 26 October 1883 at the age of 43 years, and was buried at Fernhill Cemetery in that city (obit Saint John Globe, 26 Oct. 1883, 2; Saint John Daily Sun, 26 Oct. 1883, 3; biog. and list of works, Saint John and Its Business, 1875, 166; biog. In Gary Hughes, Music of the Eye: Architectural Drawings of Canada’s First City 1822-1914, 1992, 55-60, illus.). The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick holds a collection of drawings and account books prepared by Dunham in the period from 1877 to 1883 (PANB, Dunham Coll., MC 167). The editor is indebted to Margaret Dunham Vanderploeg of Toronto, Ont. for kindly providing information about the career and work of her grandfather. from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

EXMOUTH STREET WESELYAN CHURCH, addition and extensive alterations, 1872 (Saint John Daily Telegraph, 31 May 1872, 2, descrip.)

FAIRVILLE, N.B., Methodist Church, addition and extensive renovations, 1874 (Daily News [Saint John], 21 Oct. 1874, 3)

MONCTON, N.B., Methodist Church, Church Street, 1877 (Daily News [Saint John], 24 Oct. 1877, 3, descrip.)

LOWER COVE MISSION METHODIST CHURCH, St. James Street at Carmarthen Street, 1878; opened 1886 (American Architect & Building News [Boston], iv, 28 Sept. 1878, 111, descrip.; Saint John Daily Telegraph, 5 Oct. 1878, 2, descrip.; Daily Sun [Saint John], 12 June 1886, 5, descript.; dwgs. at PANB, Mott Coll. 369; G. Hughes, Music of the Eye, 1991, 58-60, illus.)

HAMPTON, N.B., Methodist Church, 1881 (Daily Sun [Saint John], 15 Jan. 1881, 3, t.c.; dwg. in PANB, Mott Coll. 576

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Fraser, Alexander Malcolm (1858-1929) was one of the first architects to practise in Saskatchewan. Born in Stratford, Ont. on 2 January 1858 he was the son of William Fraser, a carpenter from Nova Scotia. He gained experience in the building trades in Stratford and likely trained under his father before moving to the North West Territories after 1890. From 1897 he was active in Indian Head, Sask. where he was in partnership with George A. Cameron and operated a sash and door factory with him in 1897-99 (biog. Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 25 Oct. 1902, 19). He continued to practise there under his own name from 1900 to 1910, then moved to Regina and formed a new partnership with George E. Hutchinson. From 1912 he styled himself as a ‘construction engineer’ and manager of The Constructors Ltd. in Regina, a contracting-millwork firm until 1927 when he retired and moved to Vancouver. Fraser was killed in an auto accident there on 18 July 1929. He was one of the charter members of the R.A.I.C. in 1907 (obit. Vancouver Sun, 19 July 1929, 4; Canadian Engineer, lvii, 30 July 1929, 282; inf. Gordon Fulton, Ottawa) from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

INDIAN HEAD, SASK., Methodist Church, 1898 (Christian Guardian [Toronto], 29 June 1898, 405; 11 Jan. 1899, 21, descrip.)

SINTALUTA, SASK., Methodist Church, 1899 (Christian Guardian [Toronto], 26 April 1899, 260-1, descrip.)

FAIRVIEW, SASK., Methodist Church, 1903 (C.R., xiv, 25 March 1903, 2; M. Hryniuk & F. Korvemaker, Legacy of Stone – Saskatchewan’s Stone Buildings, 2008, 176-9, illus.)

OSAGE, SASK., Methodist Church, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 13 Jan. 1909, 20)

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Paull, Almond Edwin (1823-1902) was born at St. Clement, Cornwall, England. No information can be found on his early career in that country, and it is uncertain why he chose to settle in Toronto and commence his architectural practice there in March of 1871. In early April 1877 he invited his son Herbert G. Paull to join in the partnership of Paull & Son, and he remained in business with him until March 1888 when both father and son opened separate offices in Toronto. His activity in the Methodist movement brought him several commissions for churches in the Toronto area, and his interest in the arts led to his election as an Associate in the Royal Canadian Academy in 1884. Paull Sr. was one of the founding members of the Ontario Association of Architects in 1890. He continued to list himself as an architect in classified city directory listings up until 1902, but virtually no references to his work can be found during this period, and it is likely that he had all but retired from active practise after 1890. He died in Toronto on 26 May 1902 (obituary in the Globe [Toronto], 30 May 1902, 12; Toronto Daily News, 30 May 1902, 7; biography in M. Bixby, Industries of Canada – Toronto, 1886, 147) from Dictionary of Architects in Canada

DUNDAS STREET METHODIST CHURCH, Dundas Street West at Ossington Avenue, 1875 (Mail [Toronto], 27 April 1875, 4, descrip.; T. Champion, Methodist Churches of Toronto, 1899, 241-2, descrip.)

BEETON, ONT., Methodist Church, 1878 (Christian Guardian [Toronto], 3 July 1878, 215)

WEST TORONTO JUNCTION, Methodist Church, Annette Street at High Park Avenue, 1887 (Telegram [Toronto], 26 Aug. 1887, 3, t.c.)

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Russell, John Hamilton Gordon (1863-1946)

FORT ROUGE METHODIST CHURCH, Spadina Avenue at Joseph Street, manse for the church, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 4 June 1902, 3)

WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH, Bannatyne Avenue at Juno Street, major adddition and alterations, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 4 Feb. 1904, 3; 19 Nov. 1904, 27, illus. & descrip.)

NORTH WINNIPEG METHODIST MISSION, Sutherland Avenue at Euclid Street, 1908 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 11 April 1908, 12, illus. & descrip.)

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Horel, George A.

MOUNTAIN VIEW METHODIST CHURCH, East 28th Avenue at Sophia Street, 1910; burned Feb. 1911; rebuilt and re-opened Nov. 1911 (Province [Vancouver], 17 Dec. 1910, 22, descrip.; C.R., xxv, 26 April 1911, 53)

TRINITY METHODIST CHURCH, East 7th Avenue near Victoria Drive, 1910 (dwgs. at Vancouver City Archives)

KAMLOOPS, B.C., Methodist Church, St. Paul Street at Fourth Avenue, 1911-12 (C.R., xxv, 8 Nov. 1911, 58)

GRANDVIEW METHODIST CHURCH, Venables Street, parsonage for the church, 1912 (Province [Vancouver], 28 Sept. 1912, 28)

BEACONSFIELD METHODIST CHURCH, 1912 (Province [Vancouver], 28 Sept. 1912, 28, t.c.)

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