Sorby, Thomas Charles

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SORBY, Thomas Charles (1836-1924)
(biography in preparation)

ENGLAND

HARROGATE, new cemetery with lodge and two new chapels, 1862-64 (Builder [London], xx, 4 Oct. 1862, 710; Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 3 May 1864, 3, descrip.)
BROMLEY, Town Hall, 1863 (The Architect [London], vi, 22 July 1871, 41-2, descrip.; D. Linstrum, West Yorkshire: Architects and Architecture, 1978, 385; C. Cunningham, Victorian & Edwardian Town Halls, 1981, 268-9)
RIPON, a plan for the Borrap Estate, 1863 (Builder [London], xxi, 16 May 1863, 349)
RINGWOOD, Congregational Church, 1863 (Builder [London], xxi, 14 Nov. 1863, 812)
PETERBOROUGH, pairs of villas for Rev. C. Davies, c. 1865 (Building News [London], xii, 29 Dec. 1865, illus.; xiii, 5 Jan. 1866, 11, descrip.; 19 Jan. 1866, 41, descrip. and illus.)
LEICESTER, Wyggeston's Hospital, Fosse Road, hospital and entrance lodge, 1866 (Building News [London], xiii, 6 April 1866, 218 and plate illus.)
SHEFFIELD, St. Michael & All Angels Anglican Church, Neepsend, 1866-67 (Builder [London], xxiv, 27 Jan. 1866, 67; D. Linstrum, West Yorkshire: Architects and Architecture, 1978, 385)
WALTHAMSTOW, North London, Metropolitan Police Station, Lea Bridge Road, 1867 (Builder [London], xxv, 4 May 1867, 320, tenders accepted)
SOUTH NORWOOD, Croydon, a pair of semi-detached houses for W.F. Stanley, 1867 (Builder [London], xxv, 4 May 1867, 320, tenders accepted)
POPLAR, East London, Metropolitan Police Station, East India Road, 1867 (Builder [London], xxv, 15 June 1867, 438, tenders accepted)
DARLINGTON, Durham County Court Building, Paradise Row, 1866-67 (list of works in The Architect's, Engineer's & Building Trades Directory, 1868, 137)
BOLTON, South Lancashire County Court Building, Mawdsley Street, 1867-69 (Bolton Chronicle, 17 April 1869, descrip.; N. Pevsner, South Lancashire, 1969, 82)
NOTTINGHAM, Nottinghamshire County Court Building, St. Peter's Gate, 1868 (Shaw's Picturesque Guide of Nottingham, 1871, descrip.)
LONDON, Metropolitan Police Court, Lower Kennington Lane, Borough of Lambeth, 1868 (Builder [London], xxvi, 10 Oct. 1868, 756, tenders accepted)
BRIGHTON, East Essex County Court Building, Church Street, 1868-69 (Building News [London], xv, 21 Feb. 1868, 126, 128, descrip. and illus.; Builder [London], xxvii, 1 May 1869, 354, descrip.)
CHELTENHAM, Gloucestershire County Court Building, Regent Street, 1869-70 (Cheltenham Examiner, 11 Jan. 1871, descrip.)
LEEDS, County Court Building, major additions and alterations, 1868-69 (Leeds Mercury, 25 July 1868, 11, descrip.; D. Linstrum, West Yorkshire: Architects and Architecture, 1978, 385)
WALSALL, Staffordshire County Court Building, at the foot of Lichfield Street, 1868-69 (Birmingham Daily Post, 19 April 1869, 6, descrip.)
LUTON, 'Whitehill', residence for Richard Brown, 1870 (The Architect [London], ix, 22 Feb. 1873, 100, descrip. and plate illus.)
LONDON, Praed Street Housing Estate, a development for the Metropolitan Railway surplus land, Praed Street, 1871 (Building News [London], xx, 17 March 1871, 193; Builder [London], xxix, 18 March 1871, 212)
LONDON, Clerkenwell Housing Estate, a development for the Metropolitan Railway surplus land, Clerkenwell Street, 1871 (Building News [London], xx, 17 March 1871, 193; Builder [London], xxix, 18 March 1871, 212)
GAINSBOROUGH, LINCOLNSHIRE, County Court Building, Beaumont Street, a conversion, with additions, of a house originally built in 1759 for Eastland Hawksmore, 1870-71 (Building News [London], xx, 31 March 1871, 251, descrip.; The Architect [London], vi, 2 Sept. 1871, 123, descrip.)
BARNSLEY, County Court Building, Regent Street, 1869-71 (Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 2 Oct. 1869, 8; Building News [London], xxi, 4 Aug. 1871, 86, descrip. and plate illus.; The Architect [London], vi, 2 Dec. 1871, 280, descrip.; 30 Dec. 1871, 331, descrip.; C. Cunningham, Victorian & Edwardian Town Halls, 1981, 274-5)
HALIFAX, CO. YORKSHIRE, County Court Building, Prescott Street, 1872-73 (Manchester Guardian, 24 Sept. 1873, 6, descrip.; D. Linstrum, West Yorkshire: Architects and Architecture, 1978, 385)
BALHAM, pair of semi-detached villas for an unnamed client, c. 1873 (Examples of Modern Architecture - Ecclesiastical & Domestic, 1873, illus.)
LUTON, 'Wardown', a mansion for Frank Chapman Scargill, Old Bedford Road, 1875; now used as the Wardown Park Museum (British Architect [London], iii, 25 June 1875, 359, descrip. and plate illus.; N. Pevsner, Bedfordshire, Huntingdon & Peterborough, 1968, 117)
PIRTON, 'New Grange', a mansion for Mr. Hanscombe, 1880 (Builder [London], xxxviii, 10 Jan. 1880, 39, 42-3, illus. & descrip.)

VANCOUVER

HOTEL VANCOUVER, Georgia Street, 1886-87; demol. 1949 (British Columbian [New Westminster], 21 April 1886, 3, descrip.; Vancouver Daily World, 29 Sept. 1888, 3, descrip.; 31 Dec. 1888, 5, descrip.; L. Maitland, The Queen Anne Revival Style in Canadian Architecture, 1990, 187, illus.)
OPPENHEIMER BROS., Powell Street, store, 1886 (Daily Colonist [Victoria], 23 July 1886, 2, t.c.)
SPRINGER & VAN BREMER LTD., Cordova Street, commercial block, 1886 (Daily Colonist [Victoria], 13 Aug. 1886, 2, t.c.)
ST. JAMES ANGLICAN CHURCH, Oppenheimer Street at Gore Avenue, 1886-87 (Vancouver Daily News, 9 Sept. 1886, 1, t.c.; Evening Herald [Vancouver], 5 Jan. 1888, 1; list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
C.P.R. TERMINAL & OFFICES, foot of Cordova Street, for Harry Abbott, 1886-8; demol. 1898 (Daily Colonist [Victoria], 28 Oct. 1886, 3; E. Martin, Railway Stations of Western Canada, 1980, 112)
MacMILLAN BLOCK, West Hastings Street, 1887; altered 1960 (H. Kalman, Exploring Vancouver, 1978, 93, illus.)
LADY STEPHEN'S BLOCK, West Hastings Street, c. 1887 (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
WEST HASTINGS STREET, residence for Harry Abbott, c. 1887 (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
HUDSON'S BAY CO. STORE, Cordova Street, 1887; demol. (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
PENDER STREET, pair of houses for the architect, 1888 (Vancouver Daily World, 29 Sept. 1888, 3; 31 Dec. 1888, 4)
CENTRAL PUBLIC SCHOOL, Pender Street, 1889-90; demol. 1948 (D. Franklin, Early School Architecture in British Columbia, 1980, 112-13, illus.)
HOLY ROSARY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1889; later replaced in 1899 by new Cathedral (Vancouver Daily World, 31 Dec. 1888, 5)
PROVINCIAL COURT HOUSE, Pender Street at Cambie Street, 1889-90; demol. 1914 (Daily News-Advertiser [Vancouver], 7 June 1889, 8, descrip.; Vancouver Daily World, 6 June 1889, 4, descrip.; B.C., Sessional Papers, Report of Land Works, 151, descrip.; M. Carter, Early Canadian Court Houses, 1983, 180, illus.)
BANK OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, Richards Street at West Hastings Street, 1890-91 (Vancouver Daily World, 3 Sept. 1890, 1, descrip.; 10 Nov. 1891, 1, descrip.)

VICTORIA

BURDETT AVENUE, parsonage for the Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, 1887; demol. (Colonist [Victoria], 22 May 1887, 1; 1 Jan. 1889, Supplement, 2)
OSWEGO STREET, conservatory and addition to residence for Sen. W.J. MacDonald, 1889 (Colonist [Victoria], 1 Jan. 1889, Supplement, 2)
ROCKLAND AVENUE, near Moss Street, 'The Laurels', residence for Robert Ward, 1889-90 (Colonist [Victoria], 20 Nov. 1890, 3, descrip.; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Victoria, 1979, 266-9, illus.; H. Kalman, History of Canadian Architecture, 1994, 613-14, illus. & descrip.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 156-57, illus. & descrip.)
BURDETT AVENUE, at Vancouver Street, residence for Dennis R. Harris, 1890 (Colonist [Victoria], 20 Nov. 1890, 3, descrip.)
COOK STREET, residence for T.R. Smith, c. 1890 (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
ST. CHARLES STREET, at Belcher Street, 'Brockholm', residence for Hon. A.N. Richards, c. 1890 (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
FIVE SISTERS BLOCK, Government Street at Fort Street, 1891; burned 1910 (Colonist [Victoria], 28 Jan. 1891, 7, descrip.; M. Segger, The Buildings of Samuel Maclure, 1986, 37-8, illus.)
ROCKLAND AVENUE, 'Rocklands', residence for Henry Dumbleton, c. 1892; demol. (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189). A photograph of this residence appears in Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 112, illus., but lacking an attribution to the architect.
WEILER BROTHERS BLOCK, Government Street at Broughton Street, 1898 (C.A.B., xii, March 1899, 50; Oct. 1899, 201, descrip. and plate illus.; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Victoria, 1979, 124-7, illus.)
FIRE HALL NO. 2, Yates Street at Canosun Street, 1899 (Colonist [Victoria], 13 July 1899, 6, descrip.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 1, 2013, 141-43, illus. & descrip.)
HILL STREET, residence for the architect Thomas C. Sorby, 1899 (C.A.B., xii, Nov. 1899, illus.)
INNER HARBOUR, plan for improvements, 1899; 1910 (C.A.B., xii, Oct. 1899, 197-8, descrip.; Colonist [Victoria], 5 March 1910, 3, descrip.)

ELSEWHERE

HURON DIOCESE, ONT. (possibly at Collingwood, Ont.?) Anglican Church 'on the banks of Lake Huron', 1859 (Builder [London], xvii, 17 Dec. 1859, 825, illus.; American Architect & Builder's Monthly, i, Sept. 1870, 105-06, descrip.)
QUEBEC CITY, QUE., Quebec Gate Barracks Station for the C.P.R., 1883 (inf. from Dr. H. Kalman)
ALGOMA MILLS, ONT., hotel for the C.P.R., 1883; project abandoned 1884 (inf. from Dr. H. Kalman)
EAGLE RIVER, ONT., C.P.R. Railway Station, 1883 (Builder [London], xlviii, 20 June 1885, 863, descrip. and plate illus.)
PORT ARTHUR, ONT., C.P.R. Railway Station, 1883 (Builder [London], xlviii, 20 June 1885, 863, descrip. and plate illus.; H. Kalman, History of Canadian Architecture, 1994, 487-8, illus. & descrip.)
MONTREAL, QUE., Albany Chambers Office Block, 1883-84 (American Architect & Building News [Boston], xiv, 10 Nov. 1883, illus.)
PETERBOROUGH, ONT., C.P.R. Railway Station, George Street North near Dalhousie Street, 1883 (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
TORONTO, ONT., Yorkville Station for the C.P.R., Cottingham Avenue near Yonge Street, 1883; demol. (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189)
NORTH BEND, B.C., railway hotel for the C.P.R., c. 1884 (list of works in Williams B.C. Directory, 1892, 1189; M. Segger, The Buildings of Samuel Maclure, 1986, 42, illus.)
MONTREAL, QUE., Trafalgar Institute for Women, Cote des Neiges Road, 1885 (Gazette [Montreal], 10 June 1885, 5, descrip.; Builder [London], xlviii, 27 June 1885, 920; dwgs. at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, DR1982-004)
WINNIPEG, MAN., C.P.R. Railway Station, Main Street, 1885-86 (Manitoba Daily Sun, 29 Sept. 1886, 8, descrip.; Vancouver Daily News, 8 Sept. 1886, 1, descrip.)
GLACIER, B.C., Glacier House Hotel for the C.P.R., 1886; demol. 1929 (Vancouver Daily News, 8 Sept. 1886, 1; H. Kalman, History of Canadian Architecture, 1994, 493, illus. & descrip.)
FIELD, B.C., Mount Stephen House Hotel for the C.P.R., c. 1886 (M. Segger, The Buildings of Samuel Maclure, 1986, 41, illus.)
BELLINGHAM, WASH., USA, Grand Central Hotel, in the Sehome district, Forest Street at Holly Street, 'with views over the Sound', 1889; demol. 1920 (Vancouver Daily World, 30 Aug. 1889, 4, descrip.)
( with W. Ridgway Wilson) NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C., Begbie Block, a commercial block for Sir Matthew B. Begbie, Columbia Street at McKenzie Street, 1890-91; burned 1898 (Weekly Columbian [New Westminster], 10 Dec. 1890, 4)

COMPETITIONS

LONDON, Annual Exhibition of the Royal Inst. of British Architects, 1856. While training in offices in London, Sorby submitted his drawings showing his "Design for Courts of Law" which made a favourable impression on the Jury, who awarded him a Medal of Merit (Builder [London], xiv, 5 April 1856, 181)
CONSTANTINOPLE [ISTANBUL], TURKEY, Crimea Memorial Church, 1857. At the young age of 21 years, Sorby made his debut in the world of English architectural competitions by submitting an elaborate design for an Anglican church in Istanbul. He was one of 46 competitors, which included the elite of the profession such as G.E. Street, William Burges, G.G. Scott and others. The drawings by Sorby were publicly exhibited, and The Builder commended his impressive drawings, stating that "...the author has gone to an extraordinary amount of labour in presenting his design, with some of the views and sections, exhibiting novelty, both in plan and decorative treatment" (Builder [London], xv, 21 March 1857, 158). William Burges was selected as the winner, but his design was later set aside, and the proposal by George Edmund Street was erected after 1864.
WAKEFIELD, WEST YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND, The Wakefield Church Institution, 1859. Sorby was among 31 entrants in the competition for this building, and he exhibited his drawings in London in 1859 (Builder [London], xvii, 9 April 1859, 246, descrip.). The First Premium was awarded to A.B. Higham of Newcastle.
HANLEY, STAFFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND, The Hanley Cemetery, 1859. Sorby submitted a Gothic design, in red brick, for this project, presumably a cemetery chapel or cemetery office and residence. He exhibited his drawings at the Architectural Union Gallery in London (Builder [xvii, 9 April 1859, 246, descrip.). The winner was Ward & Son of Hanley.
LONDON, ENGLAND, Holborn Viaduct Competition, 1863. Sorby was among 105 architects and engineers who submitted designs for this railway bridge, and for his effort he received Second Premium (The Observer [London], 8 Nov. 1863, 2, col. 5; Civil Engineer & Architect's Journal [London], xxvi, 1 Dec. 1863, 349-50, descrip.). However, the selection of the winning design by Frederick Marrable caused confusion and debate lasting six years. A full account of the conflict appeared in The Builder [London], xxvii, 20 Nov. 1869, 930, with letter of rebuttal from Sorby in the same journal, 27 Nov. 1869, 943.
LONDON, ENGLAND, St. Pancras Hotel & Railway Station, for the Midland Railway Co., 1864. Sorby was one of eleven invited entrants in the competition for this major project, and he received the 4th Prize of £ 30.00 (Builder [London], xxiv, 13 Jan. 1865, 33). The First Premium was awarded to George Gilbert Scott.
EAST RETFORD, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND, The Town Hall, 1864. Eighteen designs were sent in for this project, including one by Sorby (Builder [London], , xxii, 1 Oct. 1864, 726). His scheme was not among the finalists, and Bellamy & Hardy were declared winners.
BELFAST, IRELAND, The Albert Memorial Clock Tower, Victoria Street, 1865-66. There were 26 entries submitted by architects from England, Scotland and Ireland, but the competition appears to have been badly organized from the start. Even after William J. Barre was declared the winner, Thomas Sorby wrote to the editors of The Builder to complain that after waiting nine months, his original drawings for his unsuccessful entry had still not been returned to him (The Builder [London], xxiv, 2 June 1866, 410, Letter to the Editor by Sorby)
SHEFFIELD, YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND, St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church at Neepsend, 1866. Four architects were invited to submit designs, with First Prize being awarded to Sorby (Builder [London], xxiv, 27 Jan. 1866, 67)
DONCASTER, SOUTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND, Corn Exchange, 1866. Sorby received the Second Premium from among eleven submissions (Builder [London], xxiv, 26 May 1866, 391). The winner was William G. Watkins of Lincoln.
FOLKESTONE, CO. KENT, ENGLAND, South Eastern Railway development, 1867. Sorby obtained the Second Prize for his design (Builder [London], xxv, 25 May 1867, 375), with the First Prize going to Ernest Turner.
BIRMINGHAM, WARWICKSHIRE, ENGLAND, Law Courts and Municipal Buildings, 1871. Twenty-nine architects submitted designs for this major public building, but after all submissions were received, Sorby, one of the competitors, wrote to the Editor of The Builder in London to complain about the conditions and qualifications of other entrants (Builder [London], xxix, 18 March 1871, 212). The entry from Sorby was passed over in favour of the winning scheme from Yeoville Thomason, but the design by Sorby was later published in The British Architect [London], v, 8 Jan. 1876, illus. plate.
TORONTO, ONT., City Hall & Court House, 1885. During the first round of this civic competition, T.C. Sorby of Montreal competed against nearly 50 other architects from the United States and Canada for this important public building (Globe [Toronto], 16 March 1886, 8, list of competitors). All the entries were later set aside and a second competition of seven finalists was called in late 1886. Sorby complained publicly about the mismanagement of the first round and the flawed judging process. The eventual winner of the second competition was Edward J. Lennox.
VICTORIA, B.C., British Columbia Legislative Buildings, 1892. Under the pseudonym 'Utile Dulce", Sorby submitted an elaborate design in this two stage competition. From sixty-five schemes, the proposal by Sorby was advanced to the Second Stage of five semi-finalists (C.A.B., vi, June 1893, illus. plate; M. Segger, The British Columbia Parliament Buildings, 1979, 50, illus.; 83, list). In March 1893 Francis M. Rattenbury of Victoria was declared winner. The scheme by Sorby, "in the Jacobean style" was given Second Place by the jurors Sir Andrew T. Taylor and Samuel G. Curry (Vancouver Daily World, 17 March 1893, 8). Sorby issued a public protest about the results, but to no avail (Vancouver Daily World, 20 March 1893, 3).
VICTORIA, B.C., North Ward School, and South Ward School, 1893. Sorby submitted two designs, one for each school, but his entry was rejected as being '...radically different from all the others' (Daily Colonist [Victoria], 18 July 1893, 6, with critique and descrip.). The two winners were Soule & Day, and W. Ridgeway Wilson.