W. and W.R.L. Blackwell (firm)

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W. and W.R.L. Blackwell (firm)

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        W. and W.R.L. Blackwell was an architectural firm formed in Peterborough, Ontario in 1919. The partners were William Blackwell (1850-1937) and his son, Walter Rollston Lightbourne Blackwell (1890-1957).

        Born in Lakefield, William Blackwell apprenticed with the Toronto architectural firm, Walter Strickland, 1872-1875. He then worked in New York City, 1875-1879. He later opened his own practice in Peterborough in 1880 and was joined by son, Walter, between 1919 and 1930.

        His son, Walter Rollston Lightbourne Blackwell (1890-1957), was born in Peterborough. Walter attended the University of Toronto, 1910-1912, and Columbia University, 1912-1913. He then apprenticed for the New York architectural firm of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson. He also served as a draftsman at the New York firm of Henry D. Whitfield, 1912-1918. He eventually entered practice with his father's firm in 1919.

        With the death of William Blackwell in 1937, the firm's name remained the same until 1948, when with the arrival of James Craig, the partnership became known as W. and W.R.L. Blackwell and Craig. Meanwhile, Eberhard H. Zeidler, after immigrating to Canada from East Germany in 1951, joined the firm. When Zeidler became a full partner in 1955, the firm assumed the name of Blackwell, Craig and Zeidler. When Walter Blackwell died in 1957, the firm assumed the name of Craig and Zeidler. Zeidler moved the firm from Peterborough to Toronto in 1962.

        W. and W.L.R. Blackwell's notable projects include: a mansion for John C. Sullivan, 1886; a hotel for the Chamberlen Estate, 1887; Nicholl's Hospital, 1888; the Academy of Music, 1892; the Y.M.C.A. Building, 1895- 1896; Knox Presbyterian Church, Bobcaygeon, 1900-1901; South Central School, 1901; and St. Paul's Mission Isolation Hospital, 1910. Projects also include: the Hospital for the General Electric Company; additions to the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A.; Rush Apartments; the Masonic Building; the Canadian Raybestos Company; and the Peterborough Lock Company.


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        Rev. Feb/12.




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