McCaw, William Frederick

McCAW, William Frederick (1850-1923), active in a long succession of partnerships and offices in both Canada and the United States including:

McCaw & Lennox, Toronto 1876-1881 (with Edward J. Lennox)
McCaw, W.F., Toronto, 1881-82
McCaw & Burton, Portland, Ore. 1883 (with Elwood M. Burton)
McCaw & Wickersham, Portland, Ore. 1884 (with Albert Wickersham)
McCaw, W.F., Portland, Ore. 1887-88
McCaw & Martin, Portland, Ore. 1889-1891 (with Richard H. Martin)
McCaw, Martin & White, Portland, Ore. 1892-93 (with Richard H, Martin and Frederick M. White)
McCaw & Martin, Portland, Ore. 1894-1897 (with Richard H. Martin)
Curlett & McCaw, San Francisco, 1898- late 1900 (with William Curlett)
McCaw, W.F., Houston, Tex., 1903
McCaw & Rue, Muskogee, Oklahoma June 1904 - December 1904
McCaw & Rue, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jan. 1905- to ???
McCaw & Bellis, Muskogee, Okla. June 1905 to 15 Aug. 1905 (with Alexander Bellis of San Diego, Calif)
W.F. McCaw, Long Beach, Calif. July 1906 - to ???
McNally & McCaw, San Francisco, 1911-12 (with C.S. McNally)

Born in Dublin, Ireland in March 1850, he and his family moved to Belfast in 1856, and at the age of twelve he took his first lessons in drawing at the Model School there. One of his childhood friends in Belfast was William Curlett, with whom he was to later form a partnership in San Francisco in 1898-99. At the age of fifteen, he took up the study of architecture with his father John McCaw who, it was claimed “…conducted an extensive business in architecture and building”, yet no reference to an architect with this name appears in the recently completed Dictionary of Irish Architects (now online). The younger McCaw left Ireland in 1872 and emigrated to Canada, settling in Toronto, Ont. and taking a position as a draughtsman in the office of William Irving, a prominent architect in that city.

While employed with Irving in 1873-75, he met another young architect who was working in that office, Edward J. Lennox, and both agreed to form a partnership in early March 1876. Their collaboration was immediately successful, and they received major commissions for educational, institutional, ecclesiastical and commercial buildings not only in Toronto but in several nearby towns in southern Ontario including Stratford, Cannington, Markham, Owen Sound and Unionville. They won the competition for laying out Queen’s Park, Toronto in 1876, and the following year, they were awarded First Premium in the competition for the new High School at Stratford, Ont. against 33 other entrants (list of competitors in the Stratford Beacon, 3 Oct. 1877, 2). Their partnership was dissolved on 21 October 1881, and McCaw worked briefly under his own name in Toronto in 1882 before leaving Canada and moving to Portland, Oregon.

In Oregon, he worked briefly for Warren H. Williams, and was later the lead architect in a succession of five different partnerships in that city, and he can be credited with several important landmarks there including the 8 storey Dekum Building, Portland (1891-92), a significant commercial block executed in a bold Richardsonian Romanesque style. McCaw left Oregon in 1897 and moved to San Francisco where he joined his childhood friend William Curlett in a partnership, but their collaboration appears to have been shortlived, and terminated in 1899. Although seemingly a talented and ambitious architect, he was, by all accounts, temperamental, unpredictable, and restless. In 1911 he sued his former business partner William Curlett, claiming he was owed more than $14,000 after the dissolution of their office in San Francisco in 1899 (report on lawsuit San Francisco Examiner, 30 April 1911, 88). After a divorce from his wife in 1897, McCaw practised in San Francisco, then in southern California (where, for unexplained reasons, he changed his name to “William Conway”).

By 1903 he had moved to Texas, where he operated an office in Houston. In 1904 he had moved again, this time to Muskogee, Oklahoma. The catastrophe of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and the desire for architects to help rebuild the city, lured him back to the California, and he first opened an office in Long Beach, Calif. in July 1906, and later opened a new office on Fillmore Street in San Francisco in 1907 (Wm. T. Comstock, The Architects' Directory of the United States & Canada, 1907, 30). In 1911 he had formed yet another partnership in that city, this time with C.S. McNally, as McNally & McCaw, but it too only lasted for a brief period, and was dissolved within a year. By 1920 McCaw was living in Berkeley, and he later died near Fresno, Calif. on 18 April 1923 (death notice Fresno Morning Republican, 19 April 1923, 17; Fresno Herald, 19 April 1923, 3; biog. In H.K. Hines, An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon, 1893, 677; biog. Richard E. Ritz, Architects of Oregon, 2002, 277-78; inf. Edward H. Teague, Eugene, Ore.; inf. Melissa Scroggins, Fresno County Public Library)

McCAW & LENNOX (works in Toronto unless noted)

WELLESLEY PUBLIC SCHOOL, Wellesley Street West at St. Vincent Street, major addition, 1876; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 30 March 1876, 3, t.c.; 4 Dec. 1876, 3, descrip.)
OCCIDENT HALL, Queen Street West at Bathurst Street, for the Masonic Order, 1876; third floor and mansard roof later removed c. 1950; with remaining portion restored 2011-12 (Globe [Toronto], 15 May 1876, 3, t.c.)
QUEEN’S PARK, University Avenue north of College Street, layout and landscaping of the park, 1876. The City of Toronto staged a competition for proposals to lay out High Park, Queen’s Park and the Eastern Park. The design for the Queen’s Park, submitted by McCaw & Lennox under the pseudonym “Manu Forti” was awarded the First Prize (City of Toronto, Council Minutes, Appendix of the Standing Committee on Walks & Gardens, 19 June 1876, p. 211). No information has been found on whether any portion of their plan was implemented.
SCHOLES HOTEL, Queen Street West at Ossington Avenue, 1876 (Globe [Toronto], 12 Sept. 1876, 3, t.c.)
TORONTO CURLING & SKATING CLUB, Adelaide Street West near Peter Street, 1876; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 3 Oct. 1876, 3, t.c.)
YONGE STREET, near Maitland Street, row of six stores for an unnamed client, 1877 (Mail [Toronto], 2 May 1877, 2)
CALEDONIA CURLING & SKATING CLUB, Mutual Street near Dundas Street East, 1877; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 3 Aug. 1877, 3, t.c.; 13 Sept. 1877, 4, descrip.)
STRATFORD, ONT., High School, St. Andrew Street, a commission won in a competition, 1878; demol. 1972 (Stratford Beacon, 12 Oct. 1877, 2; Globe [Toronto], 16 March 1878, 5, t.c.; Stratford Central Secondary School 1853-1979, 5-6, illus.)
PHOEBE STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL, addition of third floor, 1878; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 25 May 1878, 5, t.c.)
CANNINGTON, ONT., Knox Presbyterian Church, Cameron Street East at Adelaide Street, 1878; burned October 2007 (Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 15 March 1878, 305, descrip.; Mail [Toronto], 15 July 1878, 4)
ERSKINE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Simcoe Street at Caer Howell Street, 1878-79; damaged by fire 1884; rebuilt by E.J. Lennox (Globe [Toronto], 2 Aug. 1878, 4, descrip.; Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 22 Nov. 1878, 60, descrip.; Mail [Toronto], 28 July 1879, 3, descrip.)
BOND STREET CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, Dundas Street East at Bond Street, 1878-79; Sunday School 1887; damaged by fire and demol. 1981 (Globe [Toronto], 12 March 1878, 4, descrip.; Mail [Toronto], 5 Nov. 1878, 4, descrip.; 2 May 1879, 4, descrip.; J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, iv, 1904, 480-3, illus. & descrip.; W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1993, 148-9, illus.)
MARKHAM, ONT., a residence, possibly for William Wood, Lot 1, Concession 5, 1878 (Globe [Toronto], 18 July 1878, 3, t.c.)
OWEN SOUND, ONT., High School, 1878-79; burned 1952 (Globe [Toronto], 21 Sept. 1878, 6, t.c.; re-tendered 12 April 1879, 7, t.c.)
UNIONVILLE, ONT., Congregational Church, Main Street at Fred Varley Drive, 1879; still standing in 2022 (Globe [Toronto], 12 July 1879, 6, t.c.)
LACROSSE CLUB ARCH, King Street East at Toronto Street, an outdoor commemorative archway erected for the visit of the Governor-General, 1879; demol. (Mail [Toronto], 6 Sept. 1879, 6, descrip.)
TORONTO ISLAND, Hotel Hanlan, at Hanlan's Point, 1879-81; burned 1909 (Globe [Toronto], 20 Dec. 1879, 7, t.c.; W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1993, 42-3, illus.)
SELBY STREET, near Sherbourne Street, row of three houses for an unnamed client, 1879-80 (Globe [Toronto], 20 Dec. 1879, 7, t.c.)
MARSHALL BLOCK, King Street West near Bay Street, 1880; demol. 1930 (Mail [Toronto], 3 June 1880, 4, descrip.)
YONGE STREET, at Breadalbane Street, two stores for an unnamed client, 1880 (Globe [Toronto], 11 Nov. 1880, 7, t.c.)

McCAW & WICKERSHAM (works in Portland, Oregon unless noted)

UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHAPEL, SW 6th Ave. at Montgomery Street, 1884 (orig. drawings Oregon Historical Society, Portland)

McCAW, William F. (works in Portland, Oregon unless noted)

(with Harris & Hargreaves, Victoria) VICTORIA, B.C., The Union Club, Douglas Street at Courtney Street, 1884; demol. Sept. 1952 (Victoria Daily Times, 18 June 1884, 3)
FORT VANCOUVER, WASH., Commanding Officer’s Quarters (now called Marshall House), 1886
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Tenth Street at Alder Street, 1887-90 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 3 May 1887, 8, descrip.; and 25 Feb. 1890, 8, with descrip. of interiors, and organ case of the church)
NINTH STREET, at Montgomery Street, large residence for K. Durkheimer, 1887 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 11 May 1887, 3, descrip.)
REGIMENTAL ARMOURY, on the block bounded by C Street, D Street, 9th Street and 10th Street, 1887; demol. 1968 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 11 May 1887, 4, descrip.)
PORTLAND HEIGHTS, a large residence for Capt. Willard Young " the Colonial style", 1888 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 17 April 1888, 8, descrip.)
SKIDMORE BLOCK, First Street at B Street, a three storey commercial block "adjoining the block for N.J. Blagen", 1888 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 7 Aug. 1888, 6, descrip.; inf. Edward H. Teague, Eugene, Ore.)
SKIDMORE FOUNTAIN, First Street at Vine Street and A. Street, honouring Stephen G. Skidmore (died 1883), for Charles E. Sitton, 1888 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 15 Aug. 1888, 5)
GRACE METHODIST CHURCH, 10th Street at Taylor Street, 1888 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 23 June 1888, 8, and 30 Aug. 1888, 8, descrip.; Inland Architect [Chicago], xx, 1892, 20, illus.)
GILMAN HOUSE BLOCK, First Street at Alder Street, extensive addition of a new 4th floor to the existing hotel, with 30 new rooms, 1888 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 6 Nov. 1888, 5, descrip.)
MULTNOMAH COUNTY COURTHOUSE, major addition of a new south wing, 1889 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 17 March 1889, 9, descrip.)

McCAW & MARTIN (works in Portland, Oregon unless noted)

NEW MARKET ANNEX, SW 2nd Avenue, 1889 (Rosalind Clark, Oregon Style: Architecture from 1840 to the 1950’s, 1983, 99, illus. & descrip., but lacking attribution to the architect)
OREGON NATIONAL GUARD ARMOURY ANNEX (now the Gerding Theatre at the Armoury), NW 11th Avenue, 1890-91
ALBANY, OREGON, United Presbyterian Church, SW 5th Avenue at SW Washington Street, 1890-91; still standing in 2022 (State Rights Democrat [Albany, Ore.], 31 Oct. 1890, 3, descrip.; National Register of Historic Places, designated in April 1979)
SW YAMILL STREET, at King Street, residence for Howard Stratton, 1891
NW 20th AVENUE, at H. Street, mansion for Dr. Kenneth A.J. Mackenzie, 1891 (Morning Oregonian [Portland], 20 Feb. 1891, 5; and 4 March 1891, 8; and 14 March 1891, 9; Rosalind Clark, Oregon Style: Architecture from 1840 to the 1950’s, 1983, 96, 102, illus. & descrip., but incorrectly attributed to Whidden & Lewis; inf. Edward H. Teague, Eugene, Ore.)
DEKUM BUILDING, SW 3rd Ave. at Washington Street, 1891-92 (Rosalind Clark, Oregon Style: Architecture from 1840 to the 1950’s, 1983, 101, illus. & descrip.)
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND, West Hall, 1891-92 (Rosalind Clark, Oregon Style: Architecture from 1840 to the 1950’s, 1983, 100-01, illus. & descrip.)
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, Medical Building, NW 23rd Ave. at Lovejoy Street, 1891-92; demol. (inf. Edward H. Teague, Eugene, Ore.)
BOISE, IDAHO, The Falk-Bloch Mercantile Co., Eighth Street at Main Street, a 3 storey block for David Falk and Nathan Falk, 1896; demol. 1982 (Idaho Daily Statesman [Boise], 7 May 1896, 3, descrip.; and 14 March 1897, 2, illus. & detailed architectural descrip.; Jennifer Attebery, Building Idaho: An Architectural History, 1991, 56-7, illus. & descrip.; inf. Edward H. Teague, Eugene, Ore.)

CURLETT & McCAW (of San Francisco, Cal.)

STEVENSON BUILDING (later renamed The Clunie Building), extensive reconstruction and remodelling of large office block, Montgomery Street at California Street, 1898; destroyed in the earthquake of 1906 (San Francisco Call, 5 Jan. 1898, 7, illus. & descrip.; San Francisco Examiner, 26 June 1898, 26, descrip.)
THE SAN JOSE THEATRE (later renamed The Victory Theatre), First Street near Market Street, 1898-99; burned 1965 (San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Jan. 1898, 22, illus. & descrip.)
PHELAN BLOCK, Market Street, west of Grant Avenue, rebuilding of the 5th Floor after a fire, with new offices, gallery and photographic studio, 1898-99 (San Francisco Examiner, 6 Aug. 1898, 12, descrip.; and 19 feb. 1899, 18)
PHELAN LIBRARY, Dewey Boulevard, for the City Almshouse, a public library for the Poor Residents, 1898 (San Francisco Examiner, 28 June 1898, 9, illus. & descrip.; San Francisco Call, 9 July 1898, 11)
BAKER STREET, a 2 storey residence for Ada S. Egerton, 1898-99 (San Francisco Call, 23 Dec. 1898, 10)
WILMERDING SCHOOL OF INDUSTRIAL ARTS, 16th Street at Utah Street, 1899 (San Francisco Call, 15 Feb. 1899, 3; San Francisco Examiner, 17 Feb. 1899, 14; and 11 May 1899, 4, illus. & descrip.)
CLAY STREET, at Walnut Street, a 2 storey residential block with two flats, for Christiana L. Mason and Helen M. Gedge, 1899 (San Francisco Call, 15 March 1899, 8)
CLAY STREET, at Walnut Street, a large residence for George Osborne, "...of the mingled Mexican and Spanish architecture" styles, 1899 (San Francisco Examiner, 19 March 1899, 17, descrip.)
PHELAN BLOCK, South Park at Third Street, a new 3 storey commercial block with apartments, 1899 (San Francisco Chronicle, 11 June 1899, 32, illus. & descrip.)
UNION SQUARE THEATRE BUILDING, Geary Street, east of Powell Street, 1899-1900 (San Francisco Examiner, 1 Oct. 1899, 10)
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY, major additions to the Chemistry Building, and to the Harmon Gymnasium Building, 1899-1900 (San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Oct. 1899, 12)
PUBLIC LIBRARY, Harrison Street at Brannan Street, 1899-1900 (San Francisco Call, 24 Dec. 1899, 20, illus. & descrip.)
BUTLER BUILDING, Geary Street at Stockton Street, retail store within the Butler Building, for Lena Kennedy, 1900 (San Francisco Call, 16 March 1900, 8)
MUTUAL SAVINGS BANK, Market Street at Geary Street, an architectural competition for a 10 storey bank tower. The firm of Curlett & McCaw were one of 9 leading architects in San Francisco who were invited to submit plans (San Francisco Examiner, 17 March 1900, 3).

McCAW & RUE (of Muskogee, Oklahoma)

MUSKOGEE, OKLA., Opera House, 1904 (Muskogee Democrat, 9 Aug. 1904, 4, t.c.)
TULSA, OKLA., Opera House, 1905 (Muskogee Democrat, 4 Feb. 1905, 5)
TAHLEQUAH, OKLA., Carnegie Library, South College Street, 1905-07; still standing in 2022; a commission won in a competition (Tahlequah Arrow, 13 May 1905, 5; and 24 June 1905, 5; and 1 July 1905, 4, illus.; USA, National Register of Historic Places, 2003 - Oklahoma; inf. Edward H. Teague, Eugene, Ore.)
MURRAY HILL RANCH, OKLA. [4 miles southwest of Muskogee], two large ranch residences, one for L.P. Guion, and one for Hamilton Garnsey, 1905-06 (Muskogee Democrat, 15 Nov. 1905, 1, descrip.)
MUSKOGEE, OKLA, Grace Episcopal Church, North Sixth Street at Court Street, 1905-06 (Muskogee Democrat, 5 February 1906, 6)
TAHLEQUAH, OKLA., public school, 1906 (Tahlequah Arrow, 17 Feb. 1906, 5)
MUSKOGEE, OKLA., Our Lady of Assumption Roman Catholic Church, South Third Street at Fremont Street, 1906 (Long Beach Press [Long Beach, Calif.], 27 July 1906, 12)

McNALLY & McCAW (of San Francisco, Cal.)

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., a 4 storey apartment house with 59 units, Post Street, between Leavenworth Street and Jones Street, 1911-12 (San Francisco Examiner, 3 Dec. 1911, 45, descrip.)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., large residence for S.A. Bron, West Clay Street at 22nd Avenue, in West Clay Park, designed in the "Spanish Pueblo Mission style", 1912 (San Francisco Examiner, 14 March 1912, 14, descrip.; San Francisco Chronicle, 6 April 1912, 10, illus. & descrip.; San Francisco Call, 6 April 1912, 19, illus. & detailed descrip.; inf. Edward H. Teague, Eugene, Ore.)