Masson, George Yule

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MASSON, George Yule (1895-1982), a prominent architect in Windsor, Ont. and a partner in the following firms:

Beaton & Masson (1923)
George Y. Masson (1924)
Nichols, Sheppard & Masson (1924-1931)
Sheppard & Masson (1931 until after 1960)
Sheppard, Masson, Brand & Langlois (after 1960)

Born in Detroit, Michigan on 11 December 1895, he trained in the office of J.C. Pennington for 6 months (in 1915), and in the Detroit office of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls for one year (1915-16). In 1919 he moved to Philadelphia, Penn. and studied architecture for two years, graduating in 1921. He joined the State of Michigan Association of Architects in 1922, and the Ontario Association of Architects in 1923, enabling him to complete projects on both sides of the Canadian-American border. He joined a “Mr. Beaton” in partnership for six months in 1923, and worked briefly under his own name. Then, in 1925, he was invited to join the existing partnership of David W.F. Nichols and Hugh P. Sheppard (see list of works under Nichols, Sheppard & Masson). Their collaboration was a successful one, with over thirty commissions to their credit including institutional, educational, commercial and industrial works, for buildings located in Windsor, in Walkerville and as far away as Chatham, Ont. When Nichols left the firm in 1931, both Masson and Sheppard continued to work together, becoming the leading architectural firm in Windsor during the next three decades (see list of works under Sheppard & Masson). Their best know projects include the Art Deco design for the six storey Dominion Public Building at Windsor (1932-33), and the striking modernist design for the Timmins Daily Press Building, Timmins, Ont. (1939-40), one of the very first buildings in Northern Ontario to be built in the “streamlined” style.

Masson also had a distinguished military career, serving overseas during WW1 with the Windsor Regiment, and during WWII with the Ontario Regiment. He was later appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Windsor Regiment in 1949 (Windsor Star, 15 March 1949, 3, with port.). He served as President of the Ontario Assoc. of Architects in 1956. Masson resigned from the O.A.A. in December 1973 and died in Windsor, Ont. on 21 December 1982 (obit. Windsor Star, 22 Dec. 1982, A3; inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects). The City of Windsor Municipal Archives holds a collection of drawings and photographs of buildings designed by Nichols, Sheppard & Masson during the period from 1924 to 1930 (Windsor City Archives: W.A. Fraser Coll. Acc. 1987-2; Photographs Acc. 1987-19). A photographic portrait of Masson was published in the Daily Commercial News [Toronto], 20 Oct. 1936, 1.