Born in Plymouth, Devon, England, the youngest son of WH REID, Walter came to Cape Town in 1877 with his family and was educated at the Diocesan College and the South African College in Cape Town. From 1884 until the end of 1886 he was apprenticed to his father in Cape Town. On completion of articles he was employed as municipal architect and chief assistant engineer to the Cape Town municipality, a post he held for a year (1886 to 1887). According to his FRIBA nomination papers (1906) he left the job to work as chief assistant in REID & McCOWAT's office in Johannesburg where he was 'in entire charge of the office' (FRIBA nom papers). By 1890, Reid had returned to Cape Town and had resumed his post with the municipality, resigning in 1894 and setting up independent practice in 1895. He joined his brother, AH REID, in partnership in Johannesburg in about 1896/1897 before AH left to take charge of the Cape Town office, Walter running the Johannesburg end of the business. The practice seems to have been affected by the depression since, having applied for Fellowship of the RIBA in 1906, the RIBA Kalendar (1907/8) listed him as 'of Johannesburg and London' with an address at 837 Salisbury House, London Wall, EC, possibly implying Reid had considered returning to Britain. Nothing came of this and he continued his practice in South Africa.
After AH Reid's death in 1922 Walter was joined by his son Cyril REID (cf REID, W & CW), the partnership lasting from about 1923 until about 1927. (The Cape Town end of the business was run by WJ DELBRIDGE who had joined the partners in about 1917 (cf REID & DELBRIDGE) and in 1923 they were joined by WAR FALLON (cf REID, DELBRIDGE & FALLON).
After his son's death (1927) Reid was joined in Johannesburg by AR MARTIN (cf REID & MARTIN); KEF GARDINER joined the office in 1931 (cf REID, GARDINER & MARTIN). Reid was active and involved in the affairs of the profession in the Transvaal and was interested in professional education. By 1905 he was lecturing at the South African School of Mines and Technology in Johannesburg; he won the competition for the National Bank, Pritchard St, the same year. He and William LECK were appointed joint vice-presidents of the Transvaal Institute of Architects in 1906; the Public Works Department consulted Reid and Leck about the organisation of the competition for the new post office in Pretoria in 1906. In 1906 Reid was also a delegate to the 7th International Congress of Architects in London. Reid's public offices included his terms as the first President of the Association of Transvaal Architects (1909, 1910 and 1915) and membership of the Provisional Council for the Registration of Architects in 1911 when 'in collaboration with R Howden he set out to improve the status of architects, inaugurating the Registration Act passed by the old Transvaal Parliament' (AB&E Apr 1933:17). He also co-founded and promoted the Architects' Benevolent Fund of the Transvaal from its inception in 1908 (cf HG VEALE). Reid requested that the firm should continue with his name included after his death (cf REID, GARDINER & MARTIN).
Mem Engineers' & Architects' Assn of SA, Cape Town, 1884; founder mem SA Assn for Advancement of Science, 1897. FRIBA 1906; ISAA 1927; MSAIV; MRCI. (AB&E Apr 1933:1, 17 obit; Afr Archt Jul 1911:37 port; Afr Archt May 1912:214; Afr Archt Jan 1912:159; Building Jun 1918:164; Building Jun 1919:255; FRIBA nom papers (1906) 1177; ISAA mem list; Jnl ATA Jun 1916:13ff president's valedictory address; Radford 1979; Rennie 1978b, 1983; RIBA Jnl 1932-33:847 obit; RIBA Kal 1907/8; SAA&B Mar 1905:121 Contemporary architects; SAA&B Apr 1905; SAAE&S Jnl 1906: 138; SAWW 1908, 1910, 1916; SAAR Apr 1933:41 obit; TAD MHG 81222)
Publ: Architects visit to the Union Buildings, Afr Archt May 1912:214; The decline and fall of the architectural profession, Afr Archt Jun 1914:20-1; The African Architect - architectural competitions, Afr Archt Nov 1913:283; Anthony M de Witt, Jnl ATA Sep 1917:27 obit; Government work, Jnl ATA Mar 1917:58; Shell House, Johannesburg, SAAR Aug 1932:212-13 with KEF Gardiner; Cyril Walter Reid, SAAR Sep 1927:82 obit.
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 REID
Chapters in books citing REID