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HARRISON, William Rhodes

Born: 1886
Died: 1967 02 26


Reg No: 508
Year registered: 1928

Also referred to as RHODES-HARRISON, William.

William Rhodes Harrison, as his name was first spelt, was born in London and was educated at Binfield Collegiate School. He received three years practical training as a quantity surveyor before being articled in London to the firm of Ruault & Young; it is uncertain whether this was a firm of architects or not. Harrison came to South Africa in 1911, entering the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT and working on the Union Buildings among other things before leaving to settle in Bloemfontein in 1916. According to an account in The Friend (11- Aug 1938) it seems that it was only after his arrival in Bloemfontein that he studied architecture and registered as an architect. In about 1923 he entered into partnership with an established architect in Bloemfontein, FW MASEY (cf MASEY & HARRISON). The partnership appears to have lasted about four years. In 1927 he was listed in partnership with GJC BERNHARD (cf HARRISON & BERNHARD) but by December 1927 H FYVIE had joined Harrison in partnership (cf HARRISON & FYVIE), the partnership lasting until 1937. Harrison practised on his own for a few years before he was joined by K BULL in 1940 (cf RHODES-HARRISON & BULL). Harrison was a keen freemason. He married Miss Gordon-Farleigh in 1913 and one of his three children became an architect, George William. Harrison died in Bloemfontein. The South African Who's Who (1967) obituary list mentioning only that he was 'an art expert'. Little is yet known about his practice in Bloemfontein (cf W RHODES-HARRISON and PARTNERS) for which his son was also working in 1959.

ISAA 1928; FSI; MCQS. (Braby's Tvl & Rhod dir 1915; D Edward's dir 1924, 1927, 1931; Greig 1971; ISAA mem list; SAB Jan 1940:55; SAWW 1967 obit list; The Friend 11- Aug 1938)

Publ: Architecture in Bloemfontein, SAAR Aug 1965:14-17. Maseru (Lesotho): Frasers' Retail premises (SAB Sep 1939:55) 1939

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 HARRISON

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 85, 104, 130