Clemens, Paul Melsted

CLEMENS, Paul Melsted (1870-1966) was born in Reykjavik, Iceland on 4 August 1870 and in the late 1880's emigrated to Chicago where he likely received his training as an architect. He moved to Winnipeg in 1898 and became associated with a large group of Icelandic settlers who, as contractors, craftsmen and labourers, worked cooperatively and used their native language on the worksite. Clemens commenced practice in 1905 as an architect and structural engineer, and specialized in the design of plain and undistinguished walk-up apartment blocks, many of which were built during the building boom in Winnipeg between 1908 and 1914. Clemens was not a gifted designer; a number of his drawings which have survived show rudimentary schemes rendered in a crude and amateurish style of presentation that betrays a poor sense of massing and proportion. He remained in Winnipeg until 1921, then moved back to Chicago and continued to practice until after 1925. He later lived in Norfolk, Virginia where he was member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Clemens died at Excelsior Springs, Missouri on 14 October 1966 (obit. Winnipeg Free Press, 18 Oct. 1966, 28; inf. Canada, 1911 Census, Winnipeg, ED 57, 3, line 41). The Manitoba Provincial Archives in Winnipeg holds a small collection of drawings by Clemens for projects executed between 1905 to 1921.

(works in Winnipeg)

SHERBROOK STREET, residence for Thornstein Oddson, 1905 (dwgs. at MPA)
ST. JAMES ANGLICAN PARISH, school for the church at Oakdale Park, 1907 (C.R., xviii, 13 March 1907, 6, t.c.; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 11 May 1907, 27, illus. & descrip.)
ASSINIBOINE AVENUE, large residence for Alderman Alfred H. Pulford, 1907 (C.R., xviii, 27 March 1907, 8; Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 8 April 1907, 7, descrip.)
SPENCE STREET, near Broadway, residence for Thomas Wilson, c. 1907 (dwgs. at MPA)
ARGYLE BLOCK, Garry Street at Notre Dame Avenue, a four storey commercial building with apartments, for the Argyle Land Co., 1908 (C.R., xxii, 21 Oct. 1908, 28; Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 19 Dec. 1908, 31, descrip.)
CUMBERLAND COURT, Cumberland Avenue, apartments for George A. Stirrett, 1908 (C.R., xxii, 7 Oct. 1908, 27)
ELLICE AVENUE, near Maryland Street, apartment block for T. Oddson, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 20 Oct. 1909, 22)
WINONA COURT APARTMENTS, Nassau Street at Wardlaw Avenue, 1909 (Winnipeg b.p. 46, 2 Feb. 1909)
SHERBROOK STREET, apartment block for H. Peterson, 1909 (Winnipeg b.p. 1656, 1909)
DAWSON COURT APARTMENTS, Furby Street near Ellice Avenue, 1910 (Winnipeg b.p. 5, 5 Jan. 1910)
MARKLAND COURT APARTMENTS, Furby Street, between Notre Dame Avenue and Sargent Avenue, 1910 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 6 April 1910, 2, t.c.; Winnipeg b.p. 606, 12 April 1910)
KILGOUR-RIMER CO., McDermot Avenue at Princess Street, warehouse, 1910 (Winnipeg b.p. 1503, 1910)
ST. JAMES SCHOOL DISTRICT, public school, c. 1910 (dwgs. at MPA)
NOVA VILLA APARTMENTS, Sherbrook Street, near Notre Dame Avenue, for Albert Johnson, 1910 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 11 May 1910, 11; Winnipeg b.p. 1114, 11 May 1910)
VICTORIA COURT APARTMENTS, William Avenue, for Joseph Johnson, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 15 June 1910, 28; Winnipeg b.p. 1530, 7 June 1910)
RAMONA COURT APARTMENTS, Pritchard Avenue, 1911 (Winnipeg b.p. 634, 18 April 1911; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 10 April 1911, 13, illus. & descrip.)
HARALD APARTMENTS, Westminister Avenue, 1911 (Winnipeg b.p. 1053, 9 May 1911)
DIANA COURT APARTMENTS, Furby Street, 1911 (Winnipeg b.p. 1664, 10 June 1911)
WALDORF APARTMENTS, Broadway at Langside Street, 1911 (Winnipeg b.p. 1814, 19 June 1911; dwgs. at MPA)
BRADEEN APARTMENTS, Langside Street, 1911 (Winnipeg b.p. 2103, 11 July 1911)
ALBEMARLE APARTMENTS, Langside Street, 1911-12 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 23 Sept. 1911, 21, illus.; dwgs. at MPA)
BURRISS APARTMENTS, Toronto Street, for S. Anderson, 1912 (Winnipeg b.p. 483, 23 March 1912; C.R., xxvi, 6 March 1912, 67)
PANDORA COURT APARTMENTS and EMILY APARTMENTS, Winnipeg Avenue, 1912 (Winnipeg b.p. 448 & 449, 21 March 1912; C.R., xxvi, 6 March 1912, 68; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 19 April 1913, 14, illus.)
ASQUITH COURT APARTMENTS, Furby Street, 1912 (Winnipeg b.p. 1313, 11 May 1912)
WINDSOR APARTMENTS, Langside Street, between Broadway and Westminster Avenue, for B. Bjnarson, 1912 (Winnipeg Tribune, 10 June 1912, 1; Winnipeg b.p. 1905, 8 June 1912)
SKJALDBORG LUTHERAN CHURCH, Burnell St. at Ellice Avenue, 1912 (Winnipeg b.p. 4463, 1912; dwgs. at MPA)
HREFNA APARTMENTS and SYLVIA APARTMENTS, Toronto Street, 1913 (Winnipeg b.p. 42, 29 Jan. 1913)
WOLSELEY AVENUE, at Canora Street, residence for John Moyse, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 18 June 1913, 75; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 12 April 1913, 11, illus.; Winnipeg, 1985-The Year Past, 59-60, illus.; dwgs. at MPA)
NORTH WINNIPEG HOSPITAL, Anderson Avenue, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 26 March 1913, 66; dwgs. at MPA)
HARROW APARTMENTS, Grosvenor Avenue at Harrow Street, 1913 (Winnipeg b.p. 1153, 1913)
HAMPTON COURT APARTMENTS, Langside Street, between Ellice Avenue and Sargent Avenue, for S.H. & H. Sigurdson, 1914 (Winnipeg b.p. 03, 2 Jan. 1914; Winnipeg Tribune, 3 Jan. 1914, 1, descrip.; dwgs at MPA)
RUTH APARTMENTS, Maryland Street, for Albert Johnson, 1914 (Winnipeg b.p. 110, 12 Feb. 1914; C.R., xxviii, 18 Feb. 1914, 80)
MINERVA COURT APARTMENTS, Beverely Street, 1914 (Winnipeg b.p. 381, 23 March 1914; dwgs. at MPA)
HAZELTON APARTMENTS, Maryland Street, 1914; demol. (Winnipeg b.p. 1326, 13 May 1914)
ROYAL TEMPLARS BUILDING, Young Street, 1914 (C.R., xxviii, 22 April 1914, 77; Winnipeg b.p. 100, 1916)
MANITOBA POWER COMMISSION, office building, 1921 (dwgs. at MPA)

(works elsewhere)

QU'APPELLE, SASK., public school, 1905 (dwgs. at MPA)
DAUPHIN, MAN., public school, 1907 (dwgs. at MPA)

(Competitions)

WINNIPEG, MAN., St. Boniface Town Hall, 1905. Eight competitors submitted plans for this project, but Clemens proposal was set aside in favour of a design by Victor Horwood (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 16 June 1905, 16)
EDMONTON, ALTA., Royal Alexandra Hospital, 1907. Clemens was one of twenty-three competitors from the United States and Canada who submitted drawings for this major project, and for his effort he received Third Prize (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 27 Feb. 1907, 6). The competition was won by Johnson & Lines of Edmonton.
DRESDEN, NORTH DAKOTA, Public School, 1907. A design by Clemens signed 'Vox Populae' can be found in the Clemens Coll. at the Manitoba Public Archives (D17/10, but it is uncertain if this scheme was built)
WINNIPEG, MAN., Provincial Legislative Building, 1912. The international competition for this major Canadian landmark generated sixty-five submissions from architects in England and Canada, including a bleak Beaux-Arts design by Clemens (dwgs. MPA D17/12). Clemens was not among the five finalists announced in June 1912 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 29 June 1912, 12)