Wallbridge, Jean Louise

WALLBRIDGE, Jean Louise(1912-1979) was among the first women to practise architecture in western Canada. Born in Edmonton she was educated at schools in that city as well as at private school in Switzerland. In 1935 she obtained a position as assistant in the Edmonton office of Rule, Wynn & Rule; that same year she enrolled in courses at the School of Architecture at the University of Alberta where she graduated in 1939. While working in Peter Rule's office she met another student Mary L. Imrie, with whom she was to later form a partnership in 1950. Wallbridge had a particular interest in town planning, and after leaving Edmonton in 1940 she was employed by the Town Planning Commission in Saint John, N.B. before returning to her home town in 1946. Both Wallbridge and Imrie assisted in the drafting room at the City Architects Department, which was then under the supervision of the City Architect Max Dewar. When that department closed in 1950 they decided to open their own office and were successful at sustaining a practice, completing a variety of residential and commercial commissions for private clients and for the Alberta Housing Corporation. Their firm was active until after 1970. Wallbridge died in Edmonton on 30 September 1979 (obituary Edmonton Journal, 5 Oct. 1979, p. C4; biog. and port in Canadian Architect, xxxviii, Nov. 1993, 22-3; E. Dominey, 'Wallbridge & Imrie: The Architectural Practise of Two Edmonton Women', in Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Bulletin, xvii, March 1992, 12-18, illus.). The Provincial Archives of Alberta in Edmonton holds a major collection of drawings and manuscript material by the firm (PAA, Acc. 88.290)