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PITTS, Henry Davidge

Born: 1873
Died: 1958

Architect


Also referred to as DAVIDGE-PITTS, Henry.

Worked in Cape Town from 1896. He was born at Highbridge, Somerset, England, and was educated at Clifton College, Bristol and was articled to Hans Price & Coates, architects, in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, from 1889 to 1894. He then went to work in the Burnham and Highbridge district, Somerset from 1894 to 1896. In 1896 he came to the Cape Colony, employed for nine months as an assistant in the office of E SIMPKIN. He left to take up an appointment as architect to the Cape Government Railways but the post was abolished two years later and he began independent practice in 1899 in Cape Town. During the Anglo-Boer War Davidge-Pitts was in charge of a division of military pigeon post under General Settle, and was invalided back to England. He visited Germany and returned to South Africa in 1901. He worked for a couple of years as an architect in the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT in the Cape working in the dockyards, Simonstown before returning to private practice. In 1905 he won the competition for the design of the Dutch Reformed Church building in Noorder Paarl in collaboration with EJ SHERWOOD (cf SHERWOOD & DAVIDGE-PITTS) with whom he remained in partnership for the duration of the job in 1908. He worked with Sherwood on a number of other buildings. He was elected a Licentiate of the RIBA in 1905/6, his address at the time being in Mossel Bay where he worked for a time, executing a number of buildings. His LRIBA nomination papers were signed by JC TULLY. Davidge Pitts, Tully and Waters had won first premium in the competition for the Co-op Building in Salt River before 1905/6. The remainder of Davidge Pitt's career seems to have been spent working in Cape Town where he died. He had also worked in Mossel Bay where he had a house, Tarista, the same name as his house in Rondebosch, Cape Town. He was a member of the South African delegation to the 7th International Congress of Architects, London, 1906. He spelt his name hyphenated as Davidge-Pitts in his ISAA registration papers, 1927.

LRIBA Mossel Bay 1905/6; FRIBA 1920; ISAA 1928. (FRIBA nom papers (1920) 1766; ISAA mem papers; LRIBA nom papers 1905/6 (1081); Picton-Seymour 1977; SAAR Aug 1959:38 death notice; SAB Feb 1939:69; SAWW 1908, 1910)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing PITTS

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp