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COWAN, William Craig

Born: 1863
Died: ?


Outlined his career in a letter to McMahon Davis (Canada?) in 1911. Until then he had been 'employed as an assistant by architect J Knechtal (?) of Berlin (Canada) in 1886. Stayed two seasons then went to Australia. Spent seven months there. Did not practice but continued to study architecture. Went to Africa in 1893. Started practice in Durban in 1902 and have been in practice since 1904 a principal. I attach Natal Government licences for 1903, 1904 & 1905. I returned to Canada in 1908' (LRIBA nom papers 1911). Nothing is yet established as to where he worked from the time of his arrival in South Africa in 1893, until he opened practice in Durban in 1902. It is likely he was working in Durban, which would help explain the discrepancy between the date he said he commenced practice in Durban (1902) and the date of the building he designed in Currie Road in Durban (1900). Returning to Canada in 1908 he worked in association with CG Cowan, an architect working in Berlin, Canada: the practice was varied, dealing with domestic architecture, factory buildings, schools and churches. Was possibly the COWAN in the firm COWAN & MATHER whose name appears on the foundation stone of the Fouriesburg Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk.

LRIBA 1911. (LRIBA nom papers (1911) 619; UNSAL).

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 COWAN

Hillebrand, Melanie. 1975. Aspects of architecture in Natal, 1880 1914. Pietermaritzburg: Unpublished MA. Dept Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. pp 165