Cobb, Henry Ives

COBB, Herny Ives (1859-1931) of New York City was closely involved in the initial designs for the Palace Hotel [later the King Edward Hotel], King Street East at Victoria Street, TORONTO, ONT. in 1900. In July of that year Cobb opened a branch office in Toronto and visited there with the intention of devoting his full attention to this important commercial project (C.R., xi, 11 July 1900, 3; 25 July 1900, 5-6). By November 1900 the plans were ready for construction (C.A.B., xiii, Nov. 1900, 219, descrip.; xiv, March 1901, plate illus.). A vociferous anti-American debate within the Canadian architectural profession during this time may have resulted in the client passing the commission to a Canadian firm; by December 1901 building permits had been granted to E.J. Lennox of Toronto to take over and modify the project, now called the King Edward Hotel, in order to suit the wishes of the client, the Toronto Hotel Company. The final design by Lennox bears a strong resemblance to the original scheme by Cobb. In 1902 Cobb was commissioned to design another Canadian building for the Guardian Fire & Life Assurance Co., St. James Street West, MONTREAL, QUE., 1902-03 (Montreal Star, 9 April 1902, 10, descrip.; Montreal, Les Hotels Les Immeubles de Bureaux, 1983, 51-4, illus.).

Cobb was born in Brookline, Mass. and educated at the Massachusetts Inst. of Technology. He trained with Peabody & Stearns and moved to Chicago in 1882 where he became one of that city's most successful architects in the latter part of the 19th C., designing major pavilions at the World's Columbian Exposition (1893) and several buildings on the campus of the University of Chicago. In 1898 he moved to Washington, D.C., then relocated to New York City in 1901. He spent the remainder of his career there and died on 27 March 1931 (obit. New York Times, 28 March 1931, 19; biog. National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1901, xi, 488; H. Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, 1956, 128-9).