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GRANT, William Hood

Born: 1877
Died: 1957

Architect


Year registered: 1927

ISAA (1927).

An architect who worked in Cape Town from about 1903, Grant became a principal in the Cape Town firm of MacGILLIVRAY & GRANT. Grant was born in Dundee, Forfarshire and educated at Dundee High School. He remained in Dundee spending two years at the Dundee school of Art, where he studied architecture and art, and won a National Bronze Medal in 1896. He came to South Africa in 1901 and practised on his own account in Cape Town. In 1903 he and D MacGILLIVRAY entered for the competition for the Southern Life Assurance Building in Durban. Winning the competition they formed a partnership (cf MacGILLIVRAY & GRANT) with an office in Cape Town. According to Hillebrand (1975:173) Grant opened and ran an office in Durban for the partners from 1904 until 1908. In 1908 he returned to Cape Town and continued to practice as Macgillivray & Grant. When MacGillivray left for Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1923 (?) he continued the practice on his own account in Cape Town where he was responsible for a number of buildings, among them the OK Bazaars Building in Darling St (1932). Much of his work of the late 1920s and the 1930s has since been described as Art Deco; a contemporary comment on the Commercial Union Insurance Company Building, Cape Town, noted his contemporary use of decorated building that 'some bird forms on St George's St front are very pleasing and also reminiscent of Aztec decorative motives with much charm and discretion' (AB&E Sep 1932:3). Grant had a productive career. Many of his buildings still survive. Later he admitted partners and became WH Grant & Partners. Among buildings for which they were responsible was African Guarantee House, now Ovenstone House (St George's/Riebeeck Sts) in Cape Town (1951). It was illustrated in the December 1954 edition of Architect & Builder.

This entry is cited by Dictionary of Scottish Architects with additional information.

(ISAA mem lists; SA Archt May 1939:49; SAWW 1908, 1909, 1910, 1916)

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.

Articles citing GRANT

Freschi, F. 2004. Form Follows Facade: The Architecture of W. H. Grant 1920-32. Design Issues. Vol 20 No 2 4-17

Books citing GRANT

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 55

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pp 97, 101

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp 156

Hillebrand, Melanie. 1975. Aspects of architecture in Natal, 1880 1914. Pietermaritzburg: Unpublished MA. Dept Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. pp 173

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp G11

Martin, Desmond. 2007. Walking Long Street. Cape Town: Struik. pp 107

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp ???

SAWW & Donaldson, K. 1935. South African Who's Who (Social and Business) 1935. Cape Town: Ken Donaldson. pp 81

SAWW & Donaldson, K. 1938. South African Who's Who (Social and Business) 1938. Cape Town: Ken Donaldson. pp 100

Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pp 125-126

Walker, Michael. 2015. Old hotels of Cape Town (1890-1911), The : A history long forgotten, seldom told. St James: Published Privately. pp 34, 76