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DE LA CORNILLERE, Henri Gaston Ernest

Born: 1873 03 01
Died: 1956


Year registered: 1927

Was born in Cape Town, the son of Viscount Charles Marie Ernest de la Cornillere (d. 1897), one-time professor of French at the South African College and Victoria College who accepted the post of Consul for the Free State Republic in Paris in 1873. On his father's death, Henri de la Cornillere and his mother left for California where he was educated, playing Rugby (quarter-back) for the University of California. He returned to South Africa in 1893 and entered the Orange Free State Government service as a draughtsman. Ten years later he resigned, having reached the position of chief architectural assistant in the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT, and set up his own practice in Bloemfontein. During the Anglo-Boer War he served with the Burgher Forces.

Sometime before 1908 (in 1903 when he resigned from the PWD?) he won the competition for the Rambler's Club, Bloemfontein, of which he was a founder member and chairman from 1914 to 1918. In 1927 he represented both the Cape Institute of Architects and the Orange Free State Institute at the Federal Council on Architectural Education; at the time he was president of the Orange Free State Provincial Institute of Architects and a member of the American Association of Architects. He was then living at 23 Alexandra Road, Bloemfontein. Among his best-known buildings in Bloemfontein is the Waldorf Building (1928) on the corner of President Brand and Maitland Streets. In 1935 he left Bloemfontein to practise in Bethlehem, Orange Free State but appears to have returned to work in Bloemfontein at some stage (n.d.). He married Miss Janet Sharp of Bloemfontein in 1897.

(ISAA mem list; ISAA Ybks 1929-35; On foot through old Bloemfontein, research Otto Liebenberg (1988?); SAAR Mar 1927:21-7; SAB Jul 1935:49; SAWW 1908; Sport and Sportsmen of SA and Rhod 1929:220-21, port)

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.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Colonial Mutual Life Ass Soc Ltd: 1927. Bloemfontein, Free State - Architect
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk: 1878-1881 : 1924. Rouxville, Free State - Architect
OFS Milling Co, Bakery: 1930. Bloemfontein, Free State - Architect
Rambler's Club: 1930. Bloemfontein, Free State - Architect
Rambler's Club: pre-1908. Bloemfontein, Free State - Architect
Waldorf Buildings: 1928. Bloemfontein, Free State - Architect


Roodt, Leon. 1987. The Architecture of the Orange Free State Republic 1854-1902. Bloemfontein: Unpublished Ph.D. pp

Schoeman, Karel. 1982. Vrystaatse erfenis : Bouwerk en geboue in die 19de eeu. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau. pp 94