Jackson, Thomas R.

JACKSON, Thomas R. (1826-1901) of New York City was a noted theatre architect who 'designed and supervised the execution' of the Grand Opera House, Adelaide Street West near Yonge Street, TORONTO, ONT., 1874; burned Nov. 1879, rebuilt by Lalor & Martin; demol. 1920 (Mail [Toronto], 30 March 1874, 4, descrip.; 19 Sept. 1874, 2; New York Times, 16 April 1874, 2, descrip.; Canadian Illustrated News, x, 29 Aug. 1874, 129, 134, illus. & descrip.; Eric Arthur, Toronto - No Mean City, 1964, 173, illus., but lacking attribution; W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1978, 100-01, illus.). This refined Second Empire design quickly gained a reputation as the largest and best equipped theatre in Ontario, and led to another commission for the Academy of Music, Barrington Street, HALIFAX, N.S., 1876-77 (Halifax Evening Reporter, 10 Jan. 1877, 2, descrip.). Jackson also designed the Merchants Bank, George Street at Hollis Street, HALIFAX, N.S., (Morning Chronicle [Halifax], 26 May 1879, 2, descrip.) and was involved in the planning for the Hamilton Exchange & Music Hall, James Street at Main Street, HAMILTON, ONT. (Spectator [Hamilton], 20 July 1875, 3).

Born in London, England on 1 April 1826, he was brought to New York City by his family in 1831 and served an apprenticeship in the office of Richard Upjohn in that city. His major works there include the Academy of Music, Fourteenth Street (1866), Wallack's Theatre, Tammany Hall, the Manhattan Club, and the Brooklyn Theatre. He served a five year term as Superintendent of Federal Buildings in New York for the United States Treasury Department, and died at Yonkers, N.Y. on 4 February 1901 (death notice Montreal Daily Star, 5 Feb. 1901, 6; obituary in American Architect & Building News, lxxi, 16 Feb. 1901, 49).