McLean, William H.

McLEAN, William H. (1871-1943) and Albert Hayden WRIGHT (1871-1919) were active in Boston, Mass. where they specialised in the design of public library buildings during the period from 1905 until 1911. McLean was born in Boston in 1871 and received his education and training there. He first appears as an architect in Boston directories in 1897 and maintained his own office on Tremont Street. Albert H. Wright had appeared a decade earlier, in the same directories, at first as a draftsman in 1888; by 1896 he had been credited with the design of two school buildings in nearby West Quincy, Mass. Wright continued to work on his own in Boston until at least 1901. According to copies of the yearly Boston City Directories, the architectural firm of McLean & Wright was formed in 1902 and consisted of William H. McLean with Albert H. Wright. By 1910 the firm had established a reputation for the design of several Carnegie public library buildings in towns located in eastern Massachusetts.

This firm was selected in a competition to design the new Carnegie Library in Calgary, Alberta in 1910. Their sophisticated Beaux-Arts design for their Alberta project was completed in December 1911, and this remarkable work appears to be their only completed work in Canada. The design which they used in Calgary is a virtual copy of their plans and elevations for the impressive Attleboro Public Library on North Main Street in Attleboro, Massachusetts. completed by McLean & Wright just three years earlier in 1907. Their partnership appears to have been dissolved in 1912. From 1912 to 1916 a new firm of McLean & McLean, Architects is listed in Boston, and from 1917 until after 1941 William H. McLean continued to work under his own name as an architect there. He died at Middleboro, Mass. on 10 January 1943 (obituary Boston Globe, 11 Jan. 1943, 7). Albert H. Wright was also listed as an architect in nearby Quincy, Mass. from 1912 to 1917, but he died there unexpectedly on 10 February 1919 at the age of 48 years (obituary Boston Globe, 11 Feb. 1919, 7; inf. Janice Chadbourne, Fine Arts Dept., Boston Public Library).


WEST QUINCY, MASS., Gridley Bryant School, Willard Street, 1896
WEST QUNCY, MASS., Massachusetts Fields School, Rawson Road, 1896
WEST QUINCY, MASS., Cranch School, Whitwell Road, 1900


LANCASTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE, Weeks Memorial Library, 1906
FRANKLIN, VERMONT, Public Library, 1907 (Burlington Daily Free Press, 6 June 1907, 6, t.c.)
ATTLEBORO, MASS., Public Library, North Main Street, 1907 (inf. Walter Stitt, Attleboro Public Library)
WILTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE, Gregg Free Library, 1907-08 (National Register of Historic Places - New Hampshire, 1983)
LEBANON, NEW HAMPSHIRE, Public Library, East Park Street at Bank Street, 1908 (inf. Walter Stitt, Attleboro Public Library)
HADDAM, CONN., Brainerd Memorial Library, Saybrook Road, 1908 (inf. Walter Stitt, Attleboro Public Library)
ROCKINGHAM, VERMONT, Rockingham Free Public Library, 1909 (Vermont Journal [Windsor, VT], 26 Nov. 1909, 6, illus. & descrip.)
ALSTEAD, NEW HAMPSHIRE, Shedd-Porter Memorial Library, 1910 (National Register of Historic Places - New Hampshire, Cheshire County, 2010)
CENTRAL FALLS, RHODE ISLAND, Adams Library, Central Street, 1908-10
WINCHENDON, MASS., Beals Memorial Library, 1910-11 (Boston Globe, 12 Sept. 1910, 14, t.c.)
CALGARY, ALTA., Carnegie Public Library, Memorial Park Branch, 2nd Street S.W. at 12th Avenue S.W., 1910-12 (Const., vi, Oct. 1913, 368, illus.; Esther Gorosh, Calgary’s Temple of Knowledge: A History of the Public Library, c. 1975, illus.; B. Melnyk, Calgary Builds 1905-1914, 1985, 111-12, illus.; H. Kalman, History of Canadian Architecture, 1994, 530-31, illus. & descrip.)


FRANCONIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, Abbie Greenleaf Library, Main Street, 1912 (inf. Abbie Greenleaf Library, website, historical article; inf. Walter Stitt, Attleboro Public Library)


QUINCY, MASS., Adams School, Abigal Avenue, 1913
QUINCY, MASS., Wollaston School, Beale Street, 1913
QUINCY, MASS., Squantum School, Huckins Avenue, 1918