Child, James Turner

CHILD, James Turner (1858-1926) of Calgary, Alta., an important early architect active in Manitoba and Alberta in the following offices:

Timewell & Child, Brandon, Man. 1884-85 (with Arthur T. Timewell)
J.T. Child, Calgary, Alta., Jan. 1887 to March 1887
McVittie & Child, Calgary, Alta., April - early May 1887 (with Archibald McVittie)
McVittie, Child & Wilson, Calgary, Alta, May 1887- July 1887 (with Archibald McVittie and J. Llewellyn Wilson)
Child & Wilson, Calgary, Alta. July 1887- December 1898 (with J. Llewellyn Wilson)

J.T. Cihild was born at Wigmore Grange, Herefordshire, England on 21 April 1858 and was educated at St. Pauls College, and he was trained as an engineer. He articled as a student with Hopkins, Gilkes & Co. of Middlesborough, England and later worked with the Ordnance Survey Office for two years. Child emigrated to Canada in 1883 and settled in Winnipeg where he was engaged in drainage and reclamation work for the federal government. In Brandon he formed a partnership with Arthur T. Timewell, but the 1885 Rebellion forced them to terminate their business and Child then moved to Calgary. It was there that he met James L. Wilson and together they opened Calgary's first architectural practice in 1887. They were joined briefly in 1887 by Archibald McVittie, a land surveyor (see works under McVittie, Child & Wilson). McVittie departed, and during the next twelve years the firm of Child & Wilson dominated the profession in that city and prepared impressive designs for several important institutional and commercial landmarks, often executed in a robust Romanesque Revival style using grey sandstone quarried from the nearby Elbow River banks. It was Child's partner however, who appears to have handled much of the design work in their office, leaving Child to offer his knowledge and expertise as an engineer to lay out the first sewer system in Calgary in 1893, as well as designing irrigation ditch systems in many communities in Southern Alberta.

In January 1899 their partnership was terminated when Child was appointed Assistant Chief Engineer for the Northwest Government at Regina. He worked there for three years, and in 1902 moved to Lethbridge to supervise the Northwest Irrigation project. In 1903 he joined the C.P.R. as Divisional Engineer and in 1907 moved to British Columbia to lay out irrigation works for the railway. In early 1909 he accepted the appointment as City Engineer for Calgary and held that position until late 1913, but no references to his professional activity have been found after this date. He returned to England after WW1, and died at Bromyard, Herefordshire on 8 July 1926 (obituary, Calgary Albertan, 12 July 1926, 3; inf. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar - Index of Wills & Administrations for 1927; biography and portrait of James T. Child in the Contract Record [Toronto], xxiii, 18 May 1910, 52; biography in NAC, MG 28, I 277, Vol. 2, Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, membership application form dated 27 July 1901).

J.T. CHILD (works in Calgary)

unnamed street, a terrace of 6 houses, each dwelling to be one and one-half storeys, with mansard roofs and a semi-detached villa adjacent, for an unnamed client, 1887 (Calgary Tribune, 15 April 1887, 6, descrip.)

CHILD & WILSON (Commercial & Industrial works in Calgary unless noted)

ALBERTA HOTEL,Stephen Avenue at Scarth Street, a three storey stone commercial block, 1887-88; still standing in 2023 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 24 June 1887, 3, t.c.; list of works in Picturesque Calgary, 1900) Note: This hotel is also credited to the American firm of Willcox & Johnstone, Architects, for whom the local Calgary firm of Child & Wilson may have acted as Local Supervising Architects.
McNAUGHTON BLOCK, Stephen Avenue, a 2 storey block with a retail store and offices, for Mr. McNaughton of Banff, 1888 (Calgary Tribune (Calgary), 1 Aug. 1888, 3 and p. 8, t.c.)
(with Taylor & Gordon of Montreal) BANK OF MONTREAL, Stephen Avenue at Scarth Street, 1889 (Weekly Herald (Calgary), 20 Feb. 1889, 8; Manitoba Weekly Free Press, 21 Feb. 1889, 8)
HULL BROTHERS BLOCK, Stephen Avenue at McTavish Street, with stores, bank, concert hall and theatre, 1890 (Calgary Daily Herald, 17 Jan. 1890, 4)
CALGARY HARDWARE CO., Stephen Avenue, commercial block, 1891 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 29 April 1891, 8, t.c.)
ALEXANDER BLOCK, Stephen Avenue at Scarth Street, for George Alexander, 1891-92 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 6 Jan. 1892, 4, extensive descrip., and credited to J. Llwellyn Wilson as "designer and architect", of Child & Wilson)
IMPERIAL BANK OF CANADA, Stephen Avenue at McTavish Street, major alterations to an existing block for a new bank, 1892, with all interiors designed by Darling, Curry, Sproatt & Pearson of Toronto (Calgary Daily Herald, 24 March 1892, 2, t.c.; and 18 May 1892, 1, detailed descrip.); with later addition of a 2 storey residence for the Bank Manager, 1896-97 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 18 Feb. 1897, 8, descrip.)
RED DEER, ALTA., commercial block for John Sharples & Co., 1892 (Calgary Daily Herald, 17 May 1892, 4)
MacLEAN BLOCK, Stephen Avenue, for Wendell MacLean, 1892 (Calgary Daily Herald, 17 May 1892, 4)
OPERA HOUSE, Angus Avenue at McTavish Street, for William Roper Hull, 1892 (Calgary Daily Herald, 18 Oct. 1892, 4, descrip.)
ALBERTA TANNERY Co., on the east bank of the Elbow River, in East Calgary, for J. Spencer Brisco, 1892 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 16 Nov. 1892, 2, descrip.)
HIGH RIVER, ALTA., The High River Trading Co. Block, a two storey commercial block with retail store and warehouse, constructed of stone, 1893 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 9 Sept. 1893, 3, descrip.)
VICTORIA BLOCK, 8th Avenue East, c. 1897 (list of works in Picturesque Calgary, 1900)
UNION BANK, 1898 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 15 Sept. 1898, 3; Daily Herald [Calgary], 27 Feb. 1899, 4, descrip.)

CHILD & WILSON (Residential works in Calgary unless noted)

COCHRANE, ALTA., residence for G.E. Goddard, at the Bow River Horse Ranch, 1888 (dwgs. at the Glenbow Archives, Acc. M421)
QUEENSTOWN, ALTA . (near Shouldice), colonist's houses, for the Canadian Pacific Colonization Corp., a group of 4 classes of houses for settlers, 1888 (Calgary Tribune, 20 June 1888, 1, t.c.)
8th AVENUE S.E., residence for A.E. Cross, 1891 (T. Soby, Be It Ever So Humble, 1975, plate 69)
REINACH AVENUE, at The Boulevard, residence for J.B. Smith, 1891 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 6 Jan. 1892, 1, descrip.)
GRENFELL AVENUE, residence for the architect J.T. Child, located "...south of the track", 1891 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 6 Jan. 1892, 3)
15th AVENUE WEST, residence for C.D. Rickards, 1895 (Calgary Daily Herald, 23 Sept. 1895, 4, descrip.; list of works in Picturesque Calgary, 1900)
STAPLETON RANCHE, MONTGOMERY NEIGHBOURHOOD, major additions to residence for Oswald A. Critchley, MLA, near the Shouldice Bridge, 1896 (Daily Herald [Calgary], 23 June 1896, 4, t.c.)
BOW VALLEY RANCHE, a large residence for William Roper Hull, designed " the Elizabethan style of architecture", near Bow Bottom Trail SE at the junction of Fish Creek and the Bow River, 1897; restored 2014 and now operated as The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant (Calgary Daily Herald, 28 Sept. 1897, 1 and 4, detailed descrip.)
REINACH AVENUE, residence for P. Turner Bone, c. 1897 (list of works in Picturesque Calgary, 1900)
14th AVENUE EAST, residence for John F. Costigan, c. 1898 (list of works in Picturesque Calgary, 1900)
unidentified street, residence for Judge David L. Scott, c. 1898 (list of works in Picturesque Calgary, 1900)

CHILD & WILSON (Institutional & Ecclesiastical works in Calgary unless noted)

CALGARY GENERAL HOSPITAL, 7th Street at 9th Avenue S.W., 1888; building vacated in 1895 (Qu'Appelle Vidette [Qu'Appelle, Sask.], 26 Jan. 1888, 3)
ST. MARY'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, in south Calgary, 1889 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 15 May 1889, 8; and 29 May 1889, 4, descrip..)
PUBLIC MARKET SHEDS, 1889 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 22 May 1889, 8)
METHODIST CHURCH, a new parsonage for the church, 1889-90 (Calgary Tribune, 6 Nov. 1889, 8)
CALGARY WATER WORKS PUMPING STATION, Reinach Avenue, 1890 (Calgary Daily Herald, 22 July 1890, 1)
CALGARY FIRE HALL, addition, 1891 (Calgary Weekly Herald, 29 July 1891, 8)
CALGARY GENERAL HOSPITAL, 12th Avenue East at 7th Street, 1892; converted to an Isolation Hospital, 1910; demol. (Calgary Daily Herald, 20 May 1892, 4, descrip.; and 26 May 1892, 4, descrip.; and 11 May 1895, 2, descrip.)
SOUTH WARD SCHOOL, 13th Avenue S.W., 1893-94 (Calgary School Board, Minute Books 1885-1952, 84)
GOLDEN, B.C., General Hospital, 1893 (Calgary Semi-Weekly Herald, 26 Sept. 1893, 8; Calgary Tribune, 1 Nov. 1893, 1, detailed descrip.)
INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, Section 35, Township 23, 1895-96 (Calgary Daily Herald, 26 Jan. 1895, 4, t.c.; and 20 Oct. 1896, 4; C.A.B., x, Feb. 1897, 39)

J.T. CHILD (works in Saskatchewan)

REGINA, SASK., Victoria Hospital, Hamilton Street at 14th Avenue, 1900-01 (Weekly Leader [Regina], 31 Jan. 1901, 5, descrip.)