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CHEERS, Henry Arthur (Harry)

Born: 1855
Died: c1914

Architect


Never visited South Africa. His design for the Savage Memorial Hall (Public Library), Port Elizabeth won the architectural competition held for the building, a fine example of Free Renaissance style of the turn of the century. Cheers was articled from 1872 to 1875 to FD Barry & Low of Liverpool. He spent the following two years in the office of one Waring of Cardiff and the two subsequent years at Leeds during which period he went on a sketching tour in Holland, Germany and France. He returned to work in Liverpool and after two years set up practice in Twickenham in about 1881 or 1882. He entered a number of competitions throughout his career and was successful in several, gaining first premium for Dublin Museum (n.d.); Slough public buildings (1885) (scheme abandoned); Doncaster Library and School of Art (1888) and Hereford Town Hall (n.d.) 'where a suite of grand rooms and offices are all tucked under one huge red brick gable frothed out with turrets and a mass of strap work in cream terracotta' (Cunningham 1981:149), a description which prepares the eye for the Savage Memorial Hall, Port Elizabeth, which design competition he won in 1901. By 1925 the building was described in the South African Builder as 'this quaintly artistic building ... imposing appearance ... buff terracotta facades ... green Westmoreland slate roof and granite steps' (SAB Jan 1925:13); the building, now the Port Elizabeth Public Library, was designed in free style which employed the Flemish Renaissance order and decoration, and is a National Monument. O MIDDLETON was resident architect for the building.

LRIBA 1911. (Bodill 1985; Cunningham 1981; LRIBA nom papers (1911); Picton-Seymour 1977; SAB Jan 1925:13)

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.