Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Celebrating Samuel Hooper, Manitoba's Architect UPDATED

Video re-uploaded to You Tube

Samuel Hooper 1851 - 1911

Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of Samuel Hooper. You probably don't know his name but you certainly know his work.

Hooper was born in Hatherleigh, Devon, England in 1851 and came to Canada with his family in 1869. He trained as a stone carver / monument designer and in 1880 found his way to Manitoba, settling in Winnipeg the following year.

ca. 1883 Winnipeg Tribune ad

Hooper went into business with David Ede and worked mainly on graveside memorials and headstones. In 1884 he bought out his partner and created Hooper's Marble Works. Before long, he was designing some of the city's most prominent monuments, including many for the grounds of the old city hall.

In the mid 1890s Hooper returned to England to receive formal training as an architect, which was the Hooper family business. (One sibling, bother Thomas Hooper, was an architect who spent time in Winnipeg before making a name for himself in British Columbia.)

Carnegie Library (left), Grain Exchange II

When he returned to Winnipeg Hooper began putting his education to work.

One of his first commissions was the 1896 St. Mary's Cathedral. The second Grain Exchange Building soon followed. There was also some government work, projects such as Winnipeg's Carnegie Library and Land Titles Building.

Copy of sch177
Models of prairie schoolhouses, Meleb, MB

In 1903 he was commissioned by the Manitoba government to create the 'prairie schoolhouse'. He made three designs, named Number 1, 2 and 3. Each varied in size and expense but all had to be simple enough that they could be shipped to towns and villages and assembled by local labour. These schoolhouses dotted the prairies and many were in use for generations.

hooper027 hooper064
Portage Gaol (left), Brandon Courthouse

On June 6,1904 Hooper was appointed as the first Provincial Architect of Manitoba. He designed the jails, land titles offices and courthouses for town across Manitoba, some 30 buildings in total.

October 20, 1911, Winnipeg Free Press

Sadly, Hooper was an ill man. He suffered from acute bronchitis and asthma throughout his adult life and often traveled in winter to get away from the cold. In 1911 he went to England to seek new out new medical treatments for his ailments when he died.

Hooper's body was returned to Winnipeg and he is buried in Elmwood cemetery.

April 1, 1911, Winnipeg Free Press

The year prior to his death was a time of great growth in Manitoba and Hooper was a busy man. There were designs for $3m worth of Hooper-designed buildings awaiting construction. They ranged from a new Legislature to a greatly expanded Brandon Insane Asylum. It is unclear whether parts of those drawings were incorporated into the buildings we see there today.

University of Manitoba

One set of buildings he designed that year was the U of M's Fort Garry Campus. Many of the original (orange brick) structures such as Tache Hall, the Fitzgerald Building, Agricultural College, Powerhouse and the Administration building were his designs and built after his death.

Above is a compilation of many of Hooper's buildings in a video slideshow !

Below is what I believe to be the most comprehensive list of Hooper's works. It is compiled from other lists that I have found on-line as well as from newspaper and magazine articles from the day.

I am working on a 'master list' with photos, reference links, current locations and maybe even a map placement for each of them but that will take a little longer !

Grave marker, Dr. Black (1882) Kildonan Church Cemetery
Baptismal Font (1885) Holy Trinity Church
Volunteer Monument (1886) City Hall grounds
John Norquay Memorial (1889) St. John's Cemetery
Seven Oaks Monument (1891) Main Street
Queen Victoria Monument (1898) City Hall grounds
Fountain Base (1898?) City Hall grounds

Private Practice:
St Mary’s Cathedral (1896) St. Mary Avenue
Grain Exchange Building II (1898) Princess Street
Isbister School (1898) Vaughan Street
Cass Block (1900)
Winnipeg Hotel (1901 expansion) Main Street
Western Building (1901) Albert Street
Utility Building (1902 expansion) Princess Street
lman Meat Market (1903)
Thomas Sharpe residence (1903)
Winnipeg Land Titles Office (1903) Broadway
Carnegie Library (1903) 380 William Avenue
Knox Presbyterian Church (1903) 341 Eveline, Selkirk MB
Blessed Sacrament Church (1904) Regina SK

As Provincial Architect:
Portage Gaol (1904?) Portage la Prairie MB
Manitoba Agricultural College (1905) 123 Doncaster Avenue
Central Normal School (1905) 442 William Avenue
Land Titles Building (1905) Neepawa MB
Robert Rogers residence (1906) His public works minister!
Land Titles Building (1906) Portage la Prairie
Garry Telephone Exchange (1907) 474 Hargrave Street
Brandon Court House (1908) Brandon MB
St. Mary's Academy (1908) Wellington Crescent
Vaughan Street Gaol (1909 redevelopment) Vaughan Street
St John's Telephone Exchange (1910) 405 Burrows Avenue

After his death: (These are co-credited with V. W. Horwood who succeeded Hooper as Provincial Architect.)

Agricultural College / Admin Building (1911) U of M campus
Fitzgerald Building (1911) U of M campus
Tache Hall (1912) U of M campus
Powerhouse, Fort Garry (?) U of M campus
Pasadena Apartments (1912) 220 Hugo Street N.
Deaf and Dumb Institute (1912) Portage Avenue
Law Courts Building (1916) Winnipeg 

Courthouse, Minnedosa MB 

- Additions to Legislative Building, plans drawn in 1910, not sure if work was done
- Brandon Insane Asylum - plans drawn in 1910, not sure if work was done
- Tache School, St. Boniface
- Central Police Station
- Imperial Hotel, Winnipeg 

A few entries in more detail :
Little Black Devil's Memorial
Volunteer Monument 1886
Originally on city hall lawn, in 1960s moved next to Concert Hall

Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Baptismal font 1885

Holy Trinity Church, 256 Smith Street, facing Donald Street.

Norquay 1
John Norquay Memorial 1889
St. John's Cemetery, Winnipeg

Battle of Seven Oaks Monument
Seven Oaks Monument 1891
Main Street at Rupertsland Avenue, Winnipeg

Queen Victoria
Bust of Queen Victoria 1898
Originally on city hall lawn, in 1968 moved to Assiniboine Park English Gardens, now Leo Mol sculpture garden.

St. Mary's Cathedral
St Mary’s Cathedral 1896 

353 St Mary Avenue.

Grain Exchange Building II 1898 

160 Princess Street, now part of Red River College's Roblin campus.

Downtown WInnipeg
Isbister School 1898 

310 Vaughan Street, now the Adult Education Centre


One Man Committee said...

Great post... that's an impressive bit of research!

Christian Cassidy said...

Thanks but watch the video again ! Flickr only uploaded the first two minutes of it. I reposted to YouTube.

RM said...

The land titles building in Portage is amazing. I did a pre purchase inspection of the place and was dumbfounded by the barrel valuted ceilings made of brick. This guy was good.
Great post

Anonymous said...

My name is Karen Norvell My Grandmother Jean Simpson Hooper was Samuels granddaughter I am trying to find information on his family to whomever wrote this please contact me dancon@shaw.ca