Dewar, Maxwell Cameron

DEWAR, Maxwell Cameron (1910-1955), a prominent architect in Edmonton, Alberta who was a member of the following firms in that city, and in Calgary:

Maxwell C. Dewar, Architect 1936-1943
Maxwell C. Dewar, City Architect for Edmonton 1943-49
Dewar, Cawston & Stevenson, Architects, Edmonton, 1949-50
Stevenson, Cawston & Dewar, Architects, Calgary, 1950
Dewar, Stevenson & Stanley, Architects, Edmonton, 1951-55

Dewar was born in Scotland and arrived in Canada about 1926 and served an apprenticeship with MacDonald & Magoon, a leading firm of architects in Edmonton. He joined the Alberta Association of Architects in 1931 and worked independently until 1939 when he was hired as Assistant City Architect for Edmonton. Four years later, in 1943, he was appointed Chief Architect for the City, and was responsible for the design and construction of all City-owned buildings until 1949. During his tenure as City Architect, he was elected President of the Alberta Assoc. of Architects and served in that post from 1945 to 1947. He was later nominated as a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Inst. of Canada in 1954.

When Edmonton City Council voted to give a greater share of commissions to private architectural firms in 1949, his position as City Architect was abolished. Dewar then joined in a partnership with the Calgary firm of Cawston & Stevenson who remained in Calgary while Dewar operated a branch office of the firm in Edmonton until late 1950. The firm was renamed Dewar, Stevenson & Stanley in 1951, and their most important commission was the striking modernist design of the Edmonton City Hall. Dewar designed this landmark in 1954 and stated in a newspaper interview that his design “….was influenced by the United Nations Building in New York City” (interview and description in The Lethbridge Herald, 6 April 1954, 11). The City Hall project was completed in 1957 after the death of Dewar in 1955. Dewar died unexpectedly on 1 April 1955 while conducting an inspection of the MacDonald underground parking garage facility in downtown Edmonton, a project which he had designed (obit. and port. Edmonton Journal, 2 April 1955, 1 & 20; obit. R.A.I.C. Journal, xxxii, May 1955, 186). After the death of Dewar in 1955, the successor to his practise was Kelvin C. Stanley & Co. Architects.

EDMONTON, ALTA., Rossdale Power Plant, 96th Avenue, major addition to power generating plant, 1935-37 (C.R., xlix, 24 July 1935, 36; Western Globe [Lacombe], 9 Dec. 1937, 8, descrip. of power plant, with biography and port. of the architect)
LACOMBE, ALTA., Lacombe District Community Hospital, 1937 (Western Globe [Lacombe], 12 Aug. 1937, 1, illus.; 9 Dec. 1937, 7-8, illus. & descrip.)

(works as City Architect)

EDMONTON TELEPHONE BUILDING, 102nd Avenue, major addition, 1945 (C.R., lviii, August 1945, 152; Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 48, illus. & descrip.)
DELTON ELEMENTARY DISTRICT SCHOOL, 89th Street, for the Edmonton Public School Board, 1946 (C.R., lix, April 1946, 148)
VICTORIA COMPOSITE HIGH SCHOOL, 108th Avenue, for the Edmonton Public School Board, major addition, 1946-47 (C.R., lix, Nov. 1946, 98; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxix, April 1952, 102-03, illus.; M.A. Kostek, Looking Back: A Century of Education in Edmonton Public Schools, 1982, 107)
VIRGINIA PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL, 73rd Street at 109th Avenue, 1946-47 (C.R., lix, Dec. 1946, 74)
EDMONTON CIVIC CENTRE, Master Plan, 101 A Avenue at 100th Street, 1947 (Edmonton Journal, 23 Jan. 1947, 9, descrip.; Red Deer Advocate, 5 Feb. 1947, 14, descrip.)
EXHIBITION GROUNDS, Stock Pavilion & Sales Arena for the Edmonton Exhibition Assoc., 1947 (C.R., lx, May 1947, 122)

(works by Dewar, Cawston & Stevenson)

(with C. Davis Goodman, Montreal) HOTEL, for Max Gristall and George Gristall, 1950-51 (C.R., lxiii, April 1950, 128)
ST. STEPHEN’S THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE, major addition, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, May 1950, 138; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxx, Oct. 1953, 296, illus.)
THE GRAND HOTEL, 103rd Street, major addition, 1950-51 (C.R., lxiii, Sept. 1950, 130-32)
GENERAL STEEL WARES LTD., 120th Street, warehouse, 1950-51 (C.R., lxiii, Sept. 1950, 130)
MACDONALD PARKING GARAGE, located “…..just east of the MacDonald Hotel”, 1954-55 (Lethbridge Herald, 26 June 1954, 19, descrip.)
EDMONTON CITY HALL, designed by Dewar in 1954; built 1955-57; demolished 1989 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxxv, May 1958, 165-70, illus. & descrip.; Canadian Architect, iii, Oct. 1958, 58-59, illus.; v, May 1960, 48-51, illus. & descrip.; Architectural Review [London], cxxvi, October 1959, 160, illus.; J.M. Richards, New Buildings in The Commonwealth, 1961, 72, illus.; Dr. Hal Kalman, A History of Canadian Architecture, 1994, vol. ii, 809-10, illus. & descrip.)