Watkins, Charles Elwood

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WATKINS, Charles Elwood (1875-1942) was born at Victoria, British Columbia on 3 October 1875 and received his early education there and in Ontario. He entered the office of Thomas Hooper, a successful Victoria architect, in 1890 where he worked as an apprentice and later as an assistant. In late 1902 they established a formal partnership with Hooper and collaborated on many projects in Victoria and Vancouver during the next seven years (see works under Hooper & Watkins). The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in early 1909 and Watkins opened his own office in Victoria. In 1912 he received the appointment of School Architect for the Victoria Board of Education and during the next decade he prepared virtually all designs for new school buildings and extensions to existing facilities intended to accommodate the growing number of school children in the Victoria and Oak Bay regions (Colonist [Victoria], 28 Jan. 1912, 7). His designs were frequently stolid and marked by a classical conservatism from which he rarely deviated. His style matured early, and once established it changed little, making his later works such as St. Joseph's Hospital appear dated and somewhat retardataire. He was a competent practitioner who remained active in the profession until after 1935, and took an active interest in the affairs of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia. He died in Victoria on 14 August 1942 (obituary and port. in the Colonist [Victoria], 15 Aug. 1942, 2; Daily Times [Victoria], 15 Aug. 1942, 16; D. Luxton, Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia, 2003, 188-89, 523; inf. from Architectural Institute of British Columbia)

(works in Victoria, B.C.)

SPRING RIDGE WARD SCHOOL, Chambers Street, 1908-09 (C.R., xxii, 18 Nov. 1908, 24-5; D. Franklin, Early School Architecture in British Columbia, 1980, 89, 99, illus.)
FERNWOOD ROAD, residence for Fred Parfitt, 1909; altered 1913 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 1, 2013, 61-2, illus. & descrip.)
LEE BLOCK, Government Street at Fisguard Street, commercial block for Lee Chung, Lee Wong and Lee Y. You, 1910 (Colonist [Victoria], 2 March 1910, 2; 23 March 1910, 16, illus.; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 116-17, illus.)
DISCOVERY STREET, residence for James Baker, 1910 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 22-3, illus. & descrip.)
SELKIRK STREET, residence for Thomas Brown, 1910 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 1, 2013, 216-17, illus. & descrip.)
FORT STREET, near Douglas Street, commercial block for John S. Bowker, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 6 April 1910, 29)
MELLOR BROTHERS, View Street, commercial block, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 5 Oct. 1910, 29)
LEE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, Fisguard Street, between Douglas Street and Government Street, commercial block, 1910-11 (Colonist [Victoria], 22 Sept. 1910, 11, illus. & descrip.; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 117, illus.)
WOODS MOTOR CO., Broughton Street, commercial block, 1910-11 (C.R., xxiv, 14 Dec. 1910, 26)
HOOK SING TONG CHARITY ASSOCIATION BUILDING, Herald Street below Douglas Street, 1911 (Colonist [Victoria], 29 Oct. 1911, 22, illus. & descrip.; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 117-18, illus.; dwgs. at BCPA)
SMITH & CHAMPION LTD., Douglas Street near Pandora Avenue, large addition to commercial building, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 8 March 1911, 138, t.c.)
VICTORIA HIGH SCHOOL, Fernwood Road at Grant Street, 1911-12 (Colonist [Victoria], 23 May 1911, 11, illus. & descrip.; 20 Sept. 1911, 18, illus.; C.R., xxv, 6 Dec. 1911, 42-3, illus. & descrip.; P. Smith, One Hundred Years of Victoria High School, 1976, 62, illus.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 1, 2013, 90-91, illus. & descrip.)
SUPERIOR STREET, near Menzies Street, apartment block for A.B. McNeil, 1912 (Colonist [Victoria], 8 Aug. 1912, 3; 30 Aug. 1912, 2, illus.)
McCLURE STREET, residence for William G. Cameron, 1912 (Colonist [Victoria], 5 June 1912, 4)
MONTROSE APARTMENT & STORE BLOCK, View Street at Blanchard Street, for Andrew Sheret, 1912 (Colonist [Victoria], 9 April 1912, 2, illus.)
MELLOR BROTHERS BLOCK, Broughton Street, 1912 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 4, 2009, 26, illus. & descrip.)
BURNSIDE SCHOOL, Jutland Road at Cecelia Road, 1912 (Colonist [Victoria], 31 Aug. 1912, 14, illus. & descrip.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 28-29, illus. & descript.)
OAKLANDS SCHOOL, Lionel Street at Victor Street, 1912 (Colonist [Victoria], 31 Aug. 1912, 14, illus. & descrip.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2007, 103, illus. & descript.)
FERNWOOD ROAD, residence for Frederick Parfitt, 1912-13 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 106-07, illus. & descrip.)
LINDEN AVENUE, residence for Arthur Kent, 1913 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 135, illus. & descript.)
OAK BAY, Monterey School, Monterey Avenue, 1913 (Colonist [Victoria], 7 Dec. 1912, 11)
QUADRA SCHOOL, Quadra Street at Finlayson Street, 1913-14 (D. Franklin, Early School Architecture in British Columbia, 1980, 92, 106, illus.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 57-8, illus. & descript.)
COOK STREET, at Collinson Street apartment block, possibly Ailsa Mansions, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 24 Sept. 1913, 73, t.c.)
FORT STREET, at Government Street, row of six stores for Heisterman, Foreman & Co., 1914 (C.R., xxviii, 8 July 1914, 80)
ROCKLAND AVENUE, major addition and alterations to 'Duval Cottage' for G. Harry Barnard, 1914-15 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 170-72, illus. & descript.)
FOUL BAY ROAD, residence for William Luney, 1916 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 4, 2009, 179, illus. & descrip.)
OAK BAY, residence for Walter A. Luney, Hampshire Road, 1916 (S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 88, illus.)
SAANICH, B.C., Tillicum Public School, 1916-17 (Donald Luxton & Jennifer Barr, Saanich Heritage Structures, 2008, 184, illus. & descrip.)
OAK BAY, Willows Public School, Musgrave Street, 1919 (dwgs. at BCPA)
FLETCHER BROTHERS PIANO CO., Douglas Street near Fort Street, commercial block, 1922 (C.R., xxxvi, 16 Aug. 1922, 52)
ROCKLAND AVENUE, residence for George W. Lemon, 1922 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2014, 173-4, illus. & descript.)
SAANICH, B.C., residence for Edwin Tomlin, 1922-23 (Donald Luxton & Jennifer Barr, Saanich Heritage Structures, 2008, 177, illus. & descrip.)
OAK BAY HIGH SCHOOL, Oak Bay Avenue, 1923-24 (C.R., xxxvii, 7 Nov. 1923, 51, t.c.)
ROCKLAND AVENUE, residence for Dr. W. Howard Miller, 1923-24 (Canada, Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings, Manuscript Report 354, 371-4, illus.)
FORESTERS BLOCK, for the Ancient Order of Foresters, Cormorant Street, between Douglas Street and Blanshard Street, 1925 (Nanaimo Free Press, 5 Sept. 1925, 1)
LINDEN AVENUE, at Oscar Street, Electric Demonstration House, 1927-28; still standing as of 2017 (Daily Colonist [Victoria], 12 Feb. 1928, 34-36, illus. & descrip.; inf. Patrick Gunn, Vancouver)
ST. JOSEPH'S ROMAN CATHOLIC HOSPITAL, Collinson Street at Rupert Street, new extension for Maternity and Surgical Department, 1928-29; Nurses Home, 1929 (Colonist [Victoria], 18 March 1928, 44, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xlii, 30 May 1928, 556, illus.; xliii, 20 March 1929, 68, t.c.)
ROYAL JUBILEE HOSPITAL, Richmond Street at Fort Street, Nurses Home, 1929; Administration Building and West wing, 1930; extension, 1940 (C.R., xliii, 17 April 1929, 68; liii, 20 March 1940, 22; Const., xxiii, March 1930, 100; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 195-6, illus.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 4, 2009, 210-11, illus. & descrip.)
CITY HALL NEWS BUILDING, Douglas Street at Pandora Street, 1930 (dwgs. at City of Victoria, Plumbing Dept. Records; inf. Mr. D. Luxton)
OLYMPIC BOWLING ALLEY, Yates Street, 1930 (C.R., xliv, 21 May 1930, 61)
SAND'S FUNERAL CHAPEL, Quadra Street, 1932 (M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 77-8, illus.)
(with J. Graham Johnson) MARINE BUILDING, Wharf Street, for the Dept. of Public Works, Ottawa, 1935 (C.R., xlix, 17 April 1935, 347)
ROYAL OAK BURIAL PARK & CEMETERY, Falaise Drive, Crematorium Chapel, Falaise Drive, 1937 (Donald Luxton & Jennifer Barr, Saanich Heritage Structures, 2008, 118, illus. & descrip.; Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 93, illus. & descrip.)

(works elsewhere)

HEDLEY, B.C., General Hospital, 1905 (Hedley Gazette, 7 Dec. 1905, 1)
SAANICH, B.C., Royal Oak Crematorium Chapel, Falaise Drive, 1937 (M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 264, illus.)