Davenport, Sumner Godfrey

DAVENPORT, Sumner Godfrey (1877-1956) held the position of Chief Architect for the Royal Bank of Canada from February 1920 until June 1942, and in this capacity was responsible for the design and construction of several branches for the bank in cities across Canada. Born in Framingham, Mass. on 6 November 1877 he graduated from Harvard University in 1901 then joined the Boston offices of Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson as an assistant from 1901 to 1905. He moved to New York in 1905 to work for Eidlitz & McKenzie (in 1905-08) and for McKenzie, Voorhees & Gmelin (in 1909-11). Davenport then joined Purdy & Henderson in New York and was sent by them to supervise the construction of several projects in the West Indies including the head office of the Royal Bank of Canada in Havana (1917). In February 1920 he joined the staff of the Havana office of the Royal Bank and was appointed Chief Architect for the company in July of that year. His most substantial project for the bank was the sixteen storey regional office in Vancouver (1929-31), a stepped neo-Romanesque palazzo with a strking arcaded banking hall that borrows heavily from the design of the Royal Bank Headquarters in Montreal, a collaboration between Davenport and York & Sawyer of New York. He resigned as Chief Architect for the bank in 1942 but was called back in 1945 to act as design consultant on several post-war branches for the company. Davenport died in Georgeville, Que. on 7 March 1956 (obituary in The Gazette [Montreal], 8 March 1956, 33; Montreal Star, 8 March 1956, 22; biog. in R.A.I.C. Journal, xxvii, Oct. 1950, 364; D. Luxton, Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia, 2003, 459-60, 497; inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects)

MONTREAL, QUE., Royal Bank, Park Avenue at Bernard Street, 1920 (Montreal, Les Banques, 1980, 84-5, illus.)
(with York & Sawyer) MONTREAL, QUE., Royal Bank Head Office, St. James Street at St. Pierre Street, 1926-28 (C.R., xli, 25 May 1927, 512, illus.; Const., xxi, July 1928, 221, illus. in advert.; xxii, Feb. 1929, 34-60, 68, illus. & descrip.)
WESTMOUNT, residence for the architect, Forden Crescent, 1927 (C.H.G., v, June 1928, 31, illus.; vi, Jan. 1929, 28-9, illus.)
VANCOUVER, B.C., Royal Bank, West Hastings Street at Granville Street, 1929-30 (C.R., xliii, 9 Oct. 1929, 53, t.c.; xliv, 9 April 1930, 412, descrip.; xlv, 12 Aug. 1931, 969, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, viii, Nov. 1931, 378, 381-91, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal; dwgs. at Vancouver City Archives)
WALKERVILLE, ONT., Royal Bank, Tecumseh Road at Albert Street, 1929 (C.R., xliii, 22 Jan. 1929, 61; dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives)
DALHOUSIE, N.B., Royal Bank, 1931 (Financial Post [Toronto], 23 Jan. 1932, 15, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal)
MONTREAL, QUE., Royal Bank, Atwater Avenue at Notre Dame Street, 1933 (dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal)
(with Storey & Van Egmond) REGINA, SASK., Bank of Canada, Cornwall Street at 11th Avenue, 1937 (Leader-Post [Regina], 15 May 1937, 3, illus.)
(with Marani, Lawson & Morris) OTTAWA, ONT., Bank of Canada, Wellington Street at Kent Street, 1937-38 (C.R., l, 10 Feb. 1937, 37, t.c.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xv, July 1938, 153-9, illus. & descrip.; xvi, Feb. 1939, 35, 38, illus.)
ROSETOWN, SASK., Royal Bank, 1946 (dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal)
QUEBEC CITY, QUE., Royal Bank, St. Joseph Street, 1948; altered c. 1975 and incorporated into the Centre Ville Mall (C.R., lxi, Sept. 1948, 132)
OUTREMONT, QUE., Royal Bank, Van Horne Avenue, 1949 (Outremont b.p. 4488, 31 May 1949)
MONTREAL, QUE., Royal Bank, Monkland Avenue at Grand Boulevard, 1949 (dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal)
OSHAWA, ONT., Royal Bank, Simcoe Street North at Bond Street, 1949 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxvii, Oct. 1950, 343, illus.; dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal)
MONTREAL, QUE., Royal Bank, Decarie Boulevard at Van Horne Avenue, 1950 (dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal)
WINNIPEG, MAN., Royal Bank, Portage Avenue at Edmonton Street, 1950-51; demol. 2007 (dwgs. at Royal Bank Archives, Montreal)