Priest, Alfred Edwin

PRIEST, Alfred Edwin (1892-1972) was active in Halifax, N.S. for more than fifty years, and made a major contribution to the rebuilding of the city after the Halifax Explosion of April 1917. Born there on 9 August 1892 he attended Victoria School of Art & Design, then articled with Walter J. Busch (in 1908-11) and worked as draftsman and assistant to R.A. Johnston, and later to Herbert E. Gates, a leading architect in Halifax. Priest moved to New York City and worked for prominent firms there including Henry Pelton, the office of Trowbridge & Livingston, and with Edward Shire, then returned to Halifax to work under his own name and to assist his father and brother in the operation of Priest & Sons, a draughting and blueprinting company. He worked in Halifax until 1923, then became associated with August Geiger in Miami (1923-26), but by 1927 he had returned to his home town and practised there for the duration of his career. He was one of the founding members of the Maritime Association of Architects created in 1927, and later served as President of the Nova Scotia Assoc. of Architects in 1947, a professional group which he helped to organize in 1939. Priest was active until after 1960 and died in Halifax on 26 December 1972 (obit. Mail-Star [Halifax], 27 Dec. 1972, 8; biog. Prominent People of the Maritime Provinces, 1922, 164-5; Ross Hamilton, Prominent Men of Canada, 1931-32, 489; Who's Who in Canada, ii, 1936-37, 891; M. Rosinski, Architects of Nova Scotia: A Biographical Dictionary, 1994, 270-1; inf. Gary Shutlak, Halifax). The Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia holds a small collection of drawings prepared by Priest during the period from c. 1909 to 1920. A lengthy article on the career and work of Priest appeared in the Nova Scotian Magazine [Halifax], 10 Aug. 1985, 12-14, with illustrations of several of his designs for buildings in the Halifax region.

(works in Halifax unless noted)

BLACK STREET, at Gottingen Street, residence for A. Audley Thompson, 1908 (dwgs. at PANS)
GOTTINGEN STREET, at North Street, residence for L.J. O'Shaughnessy, 1912 (dwgs. at PANS)
PRESTON STREET, near Jubilee Road, residence for J. Moser, 1917 (dwgs. at PANS)
KAYE STREET, near Gottingen Street, residence for M.G. Flavin, 1917 (dwgs. at PANS)
CITY OF HALIFAX, plans for prototype semi-detached houses for the Housing Commission of the City of Halifax, to be used in the rebuilding of residential areas damaged by the Halifax Explosion of 1917 (C.R., xxxiv, 18 Aug. 1920, 56; dwgs. at PANS)
HILLIS & SONS, Kempt Road, foundry, 1918 (dwgs. at PANS)
MOTT STREET, residence for David A. Guildford, 1921 (dwgs. at PANS)
CITY OF HALIFAX, a tract of seventy flats and residences for Frederick Hyland, 1921 (C.R, xxxvi, 11 May 1921, 56)
TRINITY ANGLICAN CHURCH, Cogswell Street at Brunswick Street, 1928 (C.R, xlii, 20 June 1928, 53)
QUEEN HOTEL, Hollis Street, major addition and alterations, 1930 (Canadian Hotel Review, viii, May 1930, 57)
SIR JOHN THOMPSON PUBLIC SCHOOL, Mumford Road near Chebucto Road, for the Halifax City School Board, 1931 (Halifax School Board, Annual Reports)
OXFORD STREET UNITED CHURCH, addition of the Sunday School Hall, 1937 (The Story of the Congregation - Oxford Street United Church 1871-1971, 24)
BARRINGTON STREET, rebuilding of a theatre, possibly the Capitol Theatre, 1938 (C.R., li, 13 April 1938, 33)
HALIFAX FURNITURE CO., Gottingen Street, retail store with storage warehouse at rear, 1940-41 (dwgs. at PANS)
HOWARD'S LTD., Bell's Lane at Barrington Street, 1941-42 (PANS, Dumaresq Coll., mfm Reel No. 4)
ROY O'BRIEN CO., Barrington Street near Gas Lane, 1945 (inf. Gary Shutlak)
SYDNEY, N.S., office building and bus station for Joseph Azar, George Street, 1946 (C.R., lix, Dec. 1946, 76)