ARIBA London 1894; SASA 1902; FRIBA 1912; MArch 1936 (Cape Town)
A leading South African architect who worked in Cape Town, Kendall was a senior partner in the firm of BAKER & KENDALL. He was born in Melbourne, Australia and was the son of FR Kendall, a manager of the P & O Shipping Line. The family returned to England where Kendall was educated at Blackheath School, London. From the age of fifteen or (1885) he worked in the office and workshops of a builder, SJ Jerrard in Lewisham until 1887. He then studied from 1887 to 1888 at King's College, London University and attended evening classes at Blackheath (where his address was 1, The Paragon). From 1889 to 1890 he attended lectures given by T Roger Smith and J R Farrow at University College. He was articled to Roger Smith & Gale To 1889, was engaged as assistant in the firm in 1893 and remained with them a further two years, after which he worked for Sir William Emmerson. The Dictionary of South African Biography (IV:272) mentions that Kendall worked in the office of Ernest George & Yates. As this information does not appear in his nomination papers for Associate membership of the RIBA (1894) his employment there is likely to have occurred between 1894 and 1896. Kendall arrived in South Africa in March 1896 and was employed for a few months in John PARKER's office in Cape Town, leaving to work for Sydney STENT in Cape Town. In 1896 he joined Herbert BAKER where he was an assistant before being made a junior partner in 1897. His name was not included in the firm's style until later.
For three years Kendall managed the firm's office in Bloemfontein (1902-1905), supervising the erection of the Government Offices of the Orange River Colony and the house of Lord Basil Blackwood. He became ill and returned to Cape Town in 1905. He was made a senior partner in the firm in 1906, the year that he married Annie Izard. The date that his name was included in the style of the firm remains rather obscure. It seems to have been about this date; a deed of dissolution of the partnership BAKER, MASEY & KENDALL is dated 6 May 1910, showing the partnership at least existed, ending presumably with MASEY's departure for Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1910. From 1910 Kendall was on his own in the Cape Town office, a deed of partnership between Baker and himself being drawn up to November 1911. Kendall was elected a Fellow of the RIBA in 1912 and Baker was witness to his papers, adding a note that Kendall was 'intent on artistic consideration in his architecture.' Details of the partnership between Baker and Kendall were redrawn in an agreement in October 1913 following Baker's departure for Britain. The draft of a proposed partnership between Baker, Kendall, Fleming and JM SOLOMON (1914) exists in the Baker Papers at the University of Cape Town; it is of interest since it predates Solomon being commissioned to design the new buildings for the University of Cape Town in 1916. Nothing came of this proposal. Kendall continued to work on his own in Cape Town until J MORRIS was admitted to the partnership in 1916. The firm became known as BAKER, KENDALL & MORRIS and continued as such until December 1918 when Baker withdrew from South Africa entirely. Kendall's partnership with Morris as KENDALL & MORRIS commenced To January 1919, continuing until September 1925.
In 1919 he was appointed consulting architect in connection with Cape Town Garden Suburb (AB&E Sep 1919:2). From September 1925 until July 1927 he practised on his own account, entering into partnership with BGL MANSERGH and forming the partnership of KENDALL & MANSERGH; this partnership continued until 1932. Deeds of partnership and of the dissolution of the partnership exist in this case. Kendall was concurrently in association with AA TAIT (of Port Elizabeth) in 1928 during the construction of the Humewood Hotel, Port Elizabeth (cf KENDALL & TAIT) but no documentation for this association appears to exist. Kendall continued both on his own account after 1932 and in various collaborative roles and partnerships in Cape Town; he was in partnership with P SHILLINGTON (cf. KENDALL & SHILLINGTON) in Cape Town 1935 until 1938, according to Shillington (1986). It was not until 1944 that Kendall entered into partnership with L Marriott EARLE (cf. KENDALL & EARLE). Kendall died in 1948 but Earle continued to practise under the style of Kendall & Earle until 1969.
Kendall was considered the successor to Baker's practice and style in the Cape, handling such jobs as the rebuilding and restoration of Groot Constantia after the fire of 1926. This important restoration was meticulously recorded by Kendall and formed the basis of his booklet 'The restoration of Groot Constantia' in 1927. In 1936 Kendall won the Bronze Medal for Architecture awarded by the Cape Institute of Architects for his part in designing the north transept of the new St George's Cathedral, Cape Town, a Baker job which continued for a number of years.
Kendall was keenly interested in both architectural education and in the arts. He was a founder member of the early South African Society of Architects (1899, 1901) which became the Cape Institute of Architects in 1902 and was a member of the South African Society of Artists (SASA) from its conception in 1902, exhibiting at the Society's exhibitions. He was an enthusiastic amateur dramatic and helped form the Garrick Dramatic Society in Cape Town. He was appointed to the Advertising and Attractions Committee for the Improvement of the Peninsula in Cape Town in 1911. His active interest in fine art led him to being a founder member of the Fine Arts Association, which later became the South African Association of Arts and was fundamental to the foundation of the South African National Gallery in Cape Town (of which he was the architect on behalf of the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT.) Kendall became a Trustee of the Gallery and was President of the Fine Arts Association from 1917 to 1918. He was also President of the South African Guild of Arts and Crafts in 1919 and co-founder the National Society, being its President from 1928 to 1929. This Society later became the National Monuments Council. He assisted HJ BROWNLEE in founding the University of Cape Town School of Architecture where he was external examiner for several years. A long and close association with the photographer Arthur ELLIOT led him to fight for the preservation of Elliott's photographic works for the South African nation. He founded the Elliott Fund Committee to try and raise the necessary funds. His interests extended to the Animal welfare Society, the Cape Town Photographic Society, the History Society of South Africa and the Kipling Society. He was a founder member of the Owl Club in 1896. Kendall lived at Pelyn, Kenilworth, Cape Town, a house he designed himself, named after the ancestral home of the Kendals in Cornwall, England [see Pelyn] and died in Cape Town.
Reg stud RIBA London 1892; founder mem CIA 1902; mem The Owl Club and its president in 1933; Council mem CIA 1917; President CIA 1913 until 1915; CPIA Bronze Medal 1936; Life mem CPIA 1939; Fine Arts Assn, committee member; SA Fine Arts Assn committee member and representative on the Board of Trustees of SA National Gallery; SA Guild of Arts and Crafts; SA Inst of Art; SA National Gallery Trustee. (AB&E Nov 1919:11; ARIBA nom papers vol 12, May 1892-May 1895 no. 87, 1894; DSAB IV:272-73; Greig 1970, 1971; Herbert 1954; Kendall & Earle Gift, UCT Libr BC 206; FRIBA nom papers (1912) 1475; SAA &B May 1905:156; SAA&B Aug 1905:212; SAAR Jul 1946:169; SAWW 1927-8; SAWW 1931-2 port; SESA 3:406; SESA 6:326b; WHK 1933-4:164 A number of documents relating to Kendall and which have not been consulted here exist in the Cape Archives Depot (CAD A1414)).
Publ: Colonial Dutch architecture, Afr Archt Dec 1907:xi; Architectural competitions, Afr Archt Oct 1911:112-14; Presidential address, Afr Archt Jun 1913:217-19; Presidential address, Afr Archt May 1914:336-38; Colonial Dutch architecture, Official Year Book of the Union and of Basutoland, Bechuanaland protectorate and Swaziland no 8 1925; The Sheik's Tomb, (1929) MSS, CAD A116; HB, an appreciation of Herbert Baker, SAAR Sep 1934:229-31; Architectural education, publ in 2 pts (1) SAAR Jan 1937:15-24, (2) SAAR Feb 1937:67-70; The white-washed wall, SA Archt Aug 1939:181; The restoration of Groot Constantia, 1927; The birth of the Cape Institute of Architects, AB&E Jan 1931:12; The crematorium at Maitland cemetery, Cape Town, S M R Feb 1937: 82-86.
Submitted and entry for the Competition for the new Prime Minister's Residence - unplaced.
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.