Baldwin, Lawrence Counsell Martin

BALDWIN, Lawrence Counsell Martin (1891-1968), an important yet underrated architect active in Toronto, Ont. and who can be credited with introducing the innovative designs in the Art Deco style to both residential and commercial architecture in that city. Born in Toronto on 31 August 1891, he attended Trinity College School at Port Hope, and later studied architecture at the School of Practical Science at the Univ. of Toronto from 1909 to 1913. After graduation, he joined the office of Symons & Rae, but left after only 6 months, and then took a position with Sproatt & Rolph, a leading firm in Toronto, from 1913 to late 1914. He enlisted in 1915 and served overseas during WW1 with the South Lancashire Regiment, and returned to Toronto in 1919 and rejoined Sproatt & Rolph (in 1919-20), and then worked as a draftsman in the Toronto office of Thomas W. Lamb (in 1920-21). Baldwin opened an office under his own name in 1921, and in 1924 he invited Gerald E.D. Greene, an engineer by training, to form a new partnership. Their collaboration was successful and productive, and their firm can be credited with over thirty commissions for commercial, residential and industrial buildings in Toronto and southern Ontario during the next decade.

The lack of work during the Depression prompted Baldwin to close his architectural practise, and in December 1932 he accepted the post of Temporary Curator at the small Art Gallery of Toronto, filling the vacancy created by the departure of Fred S. Haines, a prominent Toronto artist. Baldwin joined the small group of five permanent staff members at the Gallery, and later was appointed as the first Director of the Gallery in 1947, and he held that post until his retirement in 1961. He made a major contribution to art and culture in the city during his tenure at the Gallery, and for his effort he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the Univ. of Toronto in 1959. He also active in the architectural conservation movement to preserve architectural landmarks in Toronto, and succeeded in saving the old 7th Post Office Building on Toronto Street (1851-53, by Cumberland & Ridout) which had been threatened with demolition.

Baldwin died in Toronto on 10 May 1968 (obit. Globe & Mail [Toronto[, 13 May 1968, 3; Toronto Star, 13 May 1968, 28; Telegram [Toronto], 13 May 1968, 38; biog. National Reference Book, v, 1936, 52-3; biog. Who’s Who in Canada, 1947-48, 660; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxvi, Feb. 1949, 61; biog. and port Art Gallery of Toronto News & Notes, Vol. 5, No. 1, January 1961, 1-2; inf. Ontario Association of Architects). The City of Toronto Archives holds a collection of sketches and drawings prepared by the firm of L.C.M. Baldwin, and by Baldwin & Greene, from 1921 to 1933

L.C.M. BALDWIN

RUSSELL HILL ROAD, at Frybrook Road, residence for Brig. Gen. George S. Cartwright, 1921 (Const., xix, June 1926, 194-7, illus. & descrip.; C.H.G., iv, Jan. 1927, 26, illus.; Feb. 1927, 44, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, vi, March 1929, 100, descrip.; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)

BALDWIN & GREENE

DEER PARK MANOR APARTMENTS, St. Clair Avenue West at Deer Park Crescent, 1925-26 (Toronto b.p. 86077, 27 Nov. 1925)
RUSSELL HILL DRIVE, residence for Gerald E.D. Greene, 1925-26 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
RUSSELL HILL ROAD, near St. Clair Avenue West, residence for Richard J. Lillico, 1926 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
POPLAR PLAINS ROAD, residence for the architect L.C.M. Baldwin, 1927 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
ADELAIDE STREET WEST, at John Street, industrial loft building for William G. Dean, 1926 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
RUSSELL HILL ROAD, residence for F. Gordon Phippen, 1927 (C.H.G., ix, July 1932, 24-5, illus.; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
MANUFACTURER'S BUILDING, Adelaide Street West at Widmer Street, for David Garfinkel, 1927 (Toronto b.p. 94440, 3 Nov. 1926; C.R., xli, 16 March 1927, 51; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
LAVERNE APARTMENTS, Carlton Street at Homewood Avenue, 1927 (R.A.I.C. Journal, iv, Nov. 1927, viii, illus. in advert.)
PRETORIA HOUSE APARTMENTS, Broadview Avenue at Pretoria Avenue, 1927-28 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
ROWNTREE CHOCOLATE CO., Sterling Road, factory, 1927 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
NORTH YORK, ONT., major alterations and additions to 'The Pines', Donwoods Drive, for Albert E. Nash, 1927-32 (C.H.G., ix, July 1932, 20-1, illus.; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
CLARIDGE APARTMENTS, Avenue Road at Clarendon Avenue, 1927-28 (Daily Commercial News [Toronto], 22 Oct. 1927, 1, illus.; Toronto b.p. A4799, 28 Dec. 1927; Const., xxii, March 1929, 90-6, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, viii, Sept. 1931, 341, illus.)
BRANTFORD, ONT., The York Apartments, St. Paul Avenue, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 11 April 1928, 59; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
STRATFORD, ONT., The York Apartments, Erie Street near Cobourg Street, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 18 Jan. 1928, 52; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
KITCHENER, ONT., The York Apartments, Queen Street South at Church Street, 1928 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
POPLAR PLAINS ROAD, near Russell Hill Road, residence for the architect L.C.M. Baldwin, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 14 March 1928, 66)
WELLINGTON BUILDING, Wellington Street West near York Street, 1928; demol. (Toronto b.p. B 838, 17 Aug. 1928; C.R., xliii, 11 Sept. 1929, 1075-76, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
CENTRAL BUILDING, Richmond Street West near Bay Street, 1927-28; altered 1993 (C.R., xli, 20 July 1927, 54, t.c.; xlii, 11 July 1928, 727-9, illus. & descrip.; Toronto b.p. A 1943, 8 Sept. 1927; Const., xxi, June 1928, 199-202, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
CONCOURSE BUILDING, Adelaide Street West at Sheppard Street, 1928; demol. 2014-15, but facades still standing and restored 2015-16 (Toronto b.p. A 7026, 18 April 1928; R.A.I.C. Journal, vi, Jan. 1929, xiii, illus. in advert.; Const., xxii, May 1929, 138-44, illus. & descrip.; xxiii, March 1930, 74-80, 83-6, illus.; Toronto Star, 19 Jan. 1929, 4, descrip.; Telegram [Toronto], 26 Feb. 1929, 28, descrip.; W. Dendy & W. Kilbourn, Toronto Observed, 1986, 217-19, illus. & descrip.; Globe & Mail [Toronto], 20 May 2017, M4, illus. & descrip.; Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 3-5, illus. & descrip.)
VICTORY BUILDING, Richmond Street West near Bay Street, 1929; construction suspended during the Depression; completed in 1936 under Marani, Lawson & Morris (Toronto b.p. B 5381, 20 March 1929; Toronto Star, 27 Dec. 1929, 27, descrip.; 8 Aug. 1930, 23, descrip.; Financial Post [Toronto], 26 Sept. 1936, 10, descrip.)
ASHLEY-CRIPPEN LTD., Bloor Street West near Bay Street, photographic studio and offices, 1929 (Const., xxii, Dec. 1929, 371-3, 379-80, illus. & descrip.)
HARPER GARDENS, new facade and major alterations to residence for Mrs. Alice Brough, 1929 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
MAPLEWOOD MANSIONS, Vaughan Road at Maplewood Avenue, apartment block, 1929 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
(with R.W. Catto) NORTH YORK, ONT., major addition to the Toronto Cricket Club, Wilson Avenue at Avenue Road, 1930 (Telegram [Toronto], 10 June 1930, 17, illus. & descrip.)
BURNABY BOULEVARD, residence for Douglas McKnight, 1930 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
MEADOWVALE, ONT., residence for Mr. G. Larratt Smith, 1932 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
GOLDSTEIN'S LTD., Avenue Road opposite Cumberland Street, new facade and additions, 1931; demol. (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
E. & S. CURRIE BUILDING, York Street near Wellington Street West, 1931; demol. (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
EGLINTON AVENUE EAST, stores and apartments for Robert W. Daly, 1931 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
BURNABY BOULEVARD, residence for Robert W. Daly, 1931-32 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
GLENAYR ROAD, near Dewbourne Avenue, residence for Mrs. Donald B. Sinclair, 1932 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
McQUAY, NORRIS MFR. CO., Goddard Avenue at Ray Avenue, factory, 1932 (C.R., xlvi, 16 March 1932, 52; dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
TILLSONBURG, ONT., Norfolk Leaf Tobacco Mfr. Ltd., factory, 1933 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)
GLENCAIRN AVENUE, residence for John W. Wagstaff, 1933 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives)