Melville, Alexander

MELVILLE, Alexander (1873-1949), active in Winnipeg, Man. where he maintained a busy and successful practise in partnership with his older brother William N. Melville from 1903 to 1912. Born in Fraserburgh, Scotland on 20 January 1873, he was educated and trained in nearby Aberdeen where he was said to have operated “…a well-established and lucrative business” as an architect there. In 1900 his brother William emigrated to the United States and later moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1902. While there, he wrote and urged his brother Alexander in Aberdeen to join him in Canada, and in early May 1903 they established a partnership and opened an office in Winnipeg (Manitoba Free Press, 11 May 1903, 12). During the next decade, their firm was successful and prospered, obtaining commissions for residential, commercial and institutional work. Their reputation rests on their eclectic designs for a series of nearly fifteen fire halls executed in Winnipeg and as far away as Regina, Sask. These buildings are distinctive and based on a prototype that varied according to the number of fire vehicles accommodated. Their design combined rusticated masonry walls, stepped Dutch gables, a projecting oriel window, and a tower in the Italianate style used for drying fire hoses.

Their collaboration ended in 1912, and Alexander continued to work in Winnipeg under his own name until after 1941, executing designs for theatres, schools, city fire halls, and for telephone exchange buildings for the Manitoba Telephone Commission situated in Winnipeg and in small towns throughout southern Manitoba. His best work from this later period is the striking modern Gothic design of the six storey headquarters building for the Manitoba Telephone Co., Portage Avenue East (1931). In 1919 Melville was one of fourteen architects who submitted designs in the competition for the Jewish Orphanage in Winnipeg (C.R., xxxiii, 26 March 1919, 296). He received the Second Prize for his effort, with the commission being awarded to Woodman & Cubbidge. Alex Melville died in Winnipeg on 31 March 1949 (obit. Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 1 April 1949, 18; obit. R.A.I.C. Journal, xxvii, March 1950, 108; biog. Manitoba Free Press, 11 May 1903, 12, with photographic portrait 4 Feb. 1905, 9).

A. MELVILLE

(works in Scotland)

COLLIESTON, SCOTLAND, pier and seawall surrounding the harbour and sand beach, 1894 (David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Aberdeenshire: North & Moray, 2015, 270)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND, two houses on the north side of Fonthill Road for John Stephen, and for William Melville, architect, 1897 (Aberdeen Journal, 5 July 1897, 3)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND, two houses on the north side of Fonthill Road, for William Maff, and for Peter Dey, 1897 (Aberdeen Journal, 5 July 1897, 3)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND, four houses on Fonthill Road for A. Melville, C.E., 1898 (Aberdeen Journal, 2 Aug. 1898, 7)
STATION BRAE, ELLON, SCOTLAND, The Ellon Junction Restaurant, for John W. Whyte, 1898-99 (Aberdeen Journal, 17 Feb. 1899, 8, descrip.)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND, two houses on the north side of Fonthill Road, for William Ruxton, 1899 (Aberdeen Journal, 4 April 1899, 6)

A. & W. MELVILLE

(works in Winnipeg unless noted)

ST. PAUL'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Notre Dame Avenue at Nena Street, a manse for Rev. C.W. Stewart, 1903; additions and alterations to the church, 1904 (C.R., xiv, 24 June 1903, 4; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 22 Aug. 1904, 2, t.c.)
PORTAGE AVENUE, near Colony Street, bakery and apartments for David Pollock, 1903 (C.R., xiv, 12 Aug. 1903, 3, t.c.)
BOYCE CARRIAGE CO., Ross Avenue, carriage factory for Edward Boyce, 1904 (Winnipeg Tribune, 27 Feb. 1904, 12; 14 March 1904, 2, t.c.; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 11 March 1904, 9)
FURBY STREET, pair of houses for William Mowat, 1904 (Winnipeg Tribune, 14 March 1904, 2, t.c.)
FIRE HALL NO. 3, Maple Street, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 16 July 1904, 15, illus. & descrip.; Early Buildings of Manitoba, 1973, 105, illus.; City of Winnipeg, 1990-The Year Past, 55-6, illus.)
FIRE HALL NO., 4, Gertrude Avenue, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 7 May 1904, 17, illus. & descrip.)
FIRE HALL NO. 5, Sherbrook Street at Portage Avenue, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 7 May 1904, 17, illus. & descrip.)
FIRE HALL NO. 6, McDermott Avenue at Pearl Street, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 7 May 1904, 17, illus. & descrip.)
FIRE HALL NO. 7, Burrows Avenue at Aikins Street, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 7 May 1904, 17, illus. & descrip.)
HARGRAVE STREET, residence for P.C. Small, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 20 July 1904, 2, t.c.)
STANLEY STREET, near Logan Avenue, warehouse for John McRae, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 22 Oct. 1904, 17, illus. & descrip.)
BETHEL METHODIST CHURCH, Alexander Avenue, major addition and alterations, 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 26 Nov. 1904, 6, descrip.)
EMPIRE HOTEL, Main Street at York Avenue, a conversion of the old Assiniboine Block, 1904-05 (C.A.B., xvii, Nov. 1904, 189; Winnipeg Tribune, 14 Oct. 1904, 6, descrip.; 31 Jan. 1905, 2, descrip.; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 4 Feb. 1905, 9, illus. & descrip.)
ASHFORD APARTMENTS, Balmoral Street, 1905; demol. (Winnipeg b.p. 855, 1905)
KATE STREET, terrace of seven houses for Mrs. Nimmons, 1905 (C.R., xv, 29 March 1905, 6)
HARGRAVE STREET, south of Broadway, residence for G.A. Glines, 1905 (Winnipeg Tribune, 3 May 1905, 3, illus.)
LEITCH BROTHERS MILLING CO., Higgins Avenue, a grain elevator and two warehouses, 1905 (Winnipeg Tribune, 15 May 1905, 1, descrip.)
JARVIS STREET, terrace of nine houses for William T. Grose, 1905 (C.R., xv, 24 May 1905, 6)
BRUNSWICK HOTEL, Main Street at Rupert Avenue, for George Wright & Co, 1905 (Winnipeg Tribune, 3 May 1905, 5, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xvi, 3 May 1905, 6, t.c.; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 6 May 1905, 10, descrip.)
BALMORAL STREET, residence for James Grant, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 3 May 1905, 6)
BROADWAY, residence for Dr. Robert Mackenzie, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 3 May 1905, 6)
BEVERLEY STREET, two houses for Alex & C. Jamieson, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 7 June 1905, 5)
CENTRAL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, Hargrave Street at Qu'Appelle Avenue, major additions and improvements, 1905 (C.R. xvi, 7 June 1905, 5; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 6 July 1905, 16, descrip.; 7 July 1905, 3, illus. & descrip.)
PERFECTION BAKERY, Ellice Avenue at Simcoe Street, for James W. Campbell, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 7 June 1905, 5)
BOYCE CARRIAGE WORKS, Ross Avenue near Princess Street, factory and warehouse, for Edward Boyce, 1905 (Winnipeg Tribune, 2 Aug. 1905, 8, descrip.; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 5 Aug. 1905, 20, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xvi, 9 Aug. 1905, 7)
BIJOU THEATRE, Albert Street, for Burrows & Nash, 1905 (Winnipeg Tribune, 2 Aug. 1905, 8, descrip.; 5 Aug. 1905, 2; C.R., xvi, 9 Aug. 1905, 6)
BALMORAL STREET, oppotsite Wesley College, apartment block for F. Ashford, 1905 (Winnipeg Tribune, 23 Sept. 1905, 11)
HARGRAVE STREET, residence for George A. Glines, 1906 (Winnipeg, 1989-The Year Past, 31-2, illus.)
FIRE HALL NO. 8, Talbot Avenue, 1906 (Winnipeg, 1983-The Year Past, 61-2, illus.)
BROADWAY COURT APARTMENTS, Broadway at Garry Street, for G.H. Walton, 1906 (Winnipeg Tribune, 12 May 1906, 2; 6 Sept. 1906, 5, descrip.; C.R., xvii, 23 May 1906, 6; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 12 May 1906, 25, illus. & descrip.; 6 Dec. 1906, 54, illus.)
SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN, USA, major alterations to a theatre for Nash & Burrows, 1906 (Winnipeg Tribune, 26 May 1906, 11)
STRADBROOK PLACE, residence for F.C. Patterson, 1906 (C.R., xvii, 6 June 1906, 5; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 6 Dec. 1906, 58)
STRADBROOK PLACE, residence for Albert Thexton, 1906 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 6 Dec. 1906, 58)
ELMWOOD FIRE STATION, Taylor Avenue near Stadacona Street, 1906 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 30 May 1906, 9, illus. & descrip.; 6 Dec. 1906, 48, illus. & descrip.)
CANADIAN RUBBER CO., Princess Street, major addition to warehouse, 1906 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 6 Dec. 1906, 37)
BRANDON, MAN., theatre for Morris & Douglas, 1906-07 (C.R., xvii, 26 Dec. 1906, 1)
SASKATOON, SASK., National Trust Co., 2nd Avenue at 20th Street, 1907 (C.R., xvii, 13 Feb. 1907, 6, t.c.)
BROADWAY, at Hargrave Street, a large four storey apartment block for an unnamed client, 1907 (Winnipeg Tribune, 16 Feb. 1907, 1, descrip.)
TOURAINE APARMENTS, Ellice Avenue at Kennedy Street, 1907 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 30 Sept. 1907, 9, descrip.; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 21 Nov. 1907, 28; Winnipeg b.p. 2176, 1907)
REGINA, SASK., Fire Hall, Hamilton Street, 1906-07 (Winnipeg Tribune, 26 May 1906, 11; C.R., xviii, 6 March 1907, 2,t.c.; Morning Leader [Regina], 27 April 1907, 11, descrip.)
WELLINGTON CRESCENT, residence for Arthur Stewart, 1907 (C.R., xviii, 24 April 1907, 8)
PELKE & KROMBEIN BLOCK, Nena Street at William Avenue, stores and apartment block, 1907 (Manitoba Morning Free Press [Winnipeg], 20 April 1907, Section Two, p. 11, illus. & descrip. in advert.; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 21 Nov. 1907, 28)
GRAND OPERA HOUSE, Main Street at Jarvis Avenue, 1908 (C.R., xxii, 5 Aug. 1908, 26; Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 8 Aug. 1908, 7, illus. & descrip.; 14 Nov. 1908, 25, descrip.; Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 19 Dec. 1908, 26, descrip.)
LAKE WINNIPEG, MAN., The New York Yacht Club, a new clubhouse at Dunnottar Point, 1909 (Winnipeg Tribune, 17 April 1909, 3, descrip.; C.R., xxiii, 5 May 1909, 19)
FIRE HALL NO. 9, William Avenue, 1909 (inf. David Spector, Winnipeg)
NOTRE DAME AVENUE, theatre for J.M. Nash, 1910-11 (C.R., xxiv, 12 Oct. 1910, 25)
FIRE HALL NO. 10, Sargent Avenue at Burnell Street, 1910 (Winnipeg, 1981-The Year Past, 65-6, illus.)
FIRE HALL NO. 11, Pritchard Avenue at Sinclair Street, 1910 (Winnipeg b.p. 1465, 1910)
FIRE HALL NO. 12, Dorchester Avenue at Wilton Street, 1910 (Winnipeg, 1983-The Year Past, 25-6, illus.)
DOMINION THEATRE, Portage Avenue near Rorie Street, extensive renovations and new facade elements on the existing Dominion Theatre, 1911 (Winnipeg Tribune, 23 Jan. 1911, 1 and 4, descrip. & illus.)
STARLAND THEATRE, Main Street, 1911 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 3 Feb. 1911, 7, illus. & descrip.)
FIRE HALL NO. 13, Cathedral Avenue at Powers Street, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 16 Aug. 1911, 61, t.c.)
EDISONIA MOVIE THEATRE (later the Colonial Theatre), Main Street, for Jones & Harrison, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 27 Sept. 1911, 59-60)
VICTORIA THEATRE, Fort Street, for C. Vanderlip, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 10 April 1912, 65)

A. MELVILLE

(works in Winnipeg unless noted)

REX THEATRE, Main Street, 1912 (Winnipeg, 1992-93-The Year Past, 59-62, illus.)
COLISEUM DANCE HALL, Fort Street, 1912 (Winnipeg, 1988-The Year Past, 31-2, illus.)
ST. JAMES, public school for the rural municipality of Assiniboia, Linfield Street, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 5 Nov. 1913, 70)
FIRE HALL NO. 14, Westminster Avenue at Lipton Street, 1914 (inf. David Spector, Winnipeg)
FIRE HALL NO. 15, Osborne Street at Arnold Aveneu, 1914 (inf. David Spector, Winnipeg)
OAKDALE PARK, public school 'east of the Deer Lodge district, 1914 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 2 May 1914, 11; 16 May 1914, 11, illus.)
REGINA, SASK., Canadian Consolidated Rubber Co., Broad Street, 1916 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 5 May 1916, 4)
BROADWAY, chapel for V. Thompson, 1918 (Winnipeg b.p. 1158, 1918)
DECKER, MAN., public school, 1920 (Winnipeg Tribune, 12 June 1920, 39, t.c.)
BROOKLAND, MAN., major addition to public school, 1920 (C.R., xxxiv, 17 Nov. 1920, 50, t.c.)
MAJESTIC THEATRE, new facade, 1920 (Winnipeg b.p. 2429, 1920)
DAUPHIN, MAN., theatre for Dauphin Theatre Co., 1921 (C.R., xxxv, 20 April 1921, 57)
OAK LAKE, MAN., public school, 1922 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 12 May 1921, Section Two, 14, t.c.)
SPERLING, MAN., public school, 1924 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 4 July 1924, 16, t.c.)
EDMONTON STREET, north of Portage Avenue, a four storey apartment block for Alex Pollock, 1926 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 21 April 1926, 1)
OSBORNE AVENUE, near Rosedale Street, apartment house for H. McLean, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 15 Feb. 1928, 54, t.c.)
EDMONTON STREET, near St. Mary's Avenue, apartment house for H. Rowland, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 22 Feb. 1928, 141, t.c.)
GLENWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOL, at St. Vital, major addition and extensive renovations, 1928-29 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 14 Jan. 1929, 2, descrip.)
MANITOBA TELEPHONE COMMISSION, River Heights Telephone Exchange Building, Haskins Avenue at Niagara Street, 1929 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 26 Feb. 1929, 1, descrip.)
TRANSCONA, MAN., telephone exchange building for the Manitoba Telephone Commission, 1930 (Const., xxiii, April 1930, 127)
VIRDEN, MAN., telephone exchange building for the Manitoba Telephone Commission, 1930 (Const., xxiii, April 1930, 127)
BEAUSEJOUR, MAN., telephone exchange building for the Manitoba Telephone Commission, 1930 (Const., xxiii, April 1930, 127)
RIVERS, MAN., telephone exchange building for the Manitoba Telephone Commission, 1930 (Const., xxiii, April 1930, 127)
ELKHORN, MAN., telephone exchange building for the Manitoba Telephone Commission, 1930 (Const., xxiii, April 1930, 127)
MANITOBA TELEPHONE COMMISSION, office and telephone exchange, Portage Avenue East, 1931 (C.R., xlv, 21 Jan. 1931, 50; Canadian Engineer, 21 March 1933, 11-13, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, ix, Jan. 1932, viii, illus. in advert.; Financial Post [Toronto], 23 April 1932, 6, illus. in advert., but incorrectly credited to "Alex Manville [sic], Architect")
BOISSEVAIN, MAN., telephone exchange building for the Manitoba Telephone Commission, 1938 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 7 May 1938, 22, t.c.)
STONEWALL, MAN., telephone exchange, 1941 (C.R., liv, 18 June 1941, 36)

COMPETITIONS

WINNIPEG, MAN., Winnipeg Grain Exchange Building, Lombard Avenue at Rorie Street, 1906. The Melville Brothers were one of thirteen architects from Canada and the United States who submitted a design for the new Grain Exchange (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 30 May 1906, 8). The winner was Darling & Pearson of Toronto.