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WATERSON, John

Born: 1864
Died: 1934 05 11

Architect


Practised in Durban and in Johannesburg from 1889. He was born in Dulwich, London, the son of JP Waterson, architect. In 1880 he began work in his father's office in London and remained there until 1885, when he left to serve four years in the office of H Stopes in London as an assistant. Here he was engaged on factory, warehouse and brewery work. He studied privately for the RIBA examinations but left for South Africa without qualifying. He arrived in South Africa in 1889 and was in Durban working for WE ROBARTS as chief assistant for three years from that date. According to Men of the Transvaal (1905:367), Waterson came to South Africa in 1888/9, but first recorded working in partnership in 1892 with CR SNELL in Johannesburg (cf. SNELL & WATERSON), the partnership lasting until about 1898 when he entered into partnership with HG VEALE (cf WATERSON & VEALE). This partnership lasted until about 1924. The 1898 date of partnership with Veale was repeated in two sources while another source (Afr Archt Sep 1911:78) gives 1895 as the date of the commencement the partnership. Waterson married in 1895. His son, Sidney Frank, was born in London in 1896, according to the South African Who's Who (1931/32), coming to South Africa in 1897. Did Waterson return to England for a few years, or just his wife? During the Anglo-Boer War Waterson and Veale both left Johannesburg for Durban where they executed several large buildings before their return to Johannesburg after the war. After 1924 Waterson was in practice on his own account; his design for the Central News Agency (CNA) building in Cape Town (1926-1928) was for a six-storey block and included a gable in Cape Dutch style. He was active in his professional commitments, elected president of the Transvaal Institute of Architects for 1904-1905 and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1906. He was a pioneer member of the Rand Club in Johannesburg and a founder of the Association of Transvaal Architects in 1909 of which he was also a council member.

FRIBA 1906; ISAA 1927. (Afr Archt Sep 1911:78; Afr Archt Nov 1913:281-82; ISAA mem list; Men TVL 1905:367; RIBA biog file; RIBA Jnl 13 Oct 1934:1070 obit; SAAR May 1934:136 obit; SAWW 1908; SAWW 1931-2)

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 WATERSON

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

Hillebrand, Melanie. 1975. Aspects of architecture in Natal, 1880 1914. Pietermaritzburg: Unpublished MA. Dept Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. pp

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp W8

Transvaal Publishing Co. 1905. Men of the Times : Pioneers of the Transvaal and glimpses of South Africa . Johannesburg, Cape Town and London: The Transvaal Publishing Co. pp 367