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GREEN, Frederick George

Born: 1850
Died: 1927 06 10


Green was co-architect of the City Hall, Cape Town. He worked both in Johannesburg and in Cape Town. Born in Westminster, he was the son of TG Green, and educated in London, studying medicine before turning to architecture. He was articled to EW Stephens in Kent, and in 1877 married Elsa Goodwin in 1877, leaving for Australia in 1888. He spent five years in Australia, practising in Melbourne, responsible for a number of as yet unidentified buildings. His address in Melbourne at this time was Hiawatha, Punt Hill, South Yarra, he was to call his house in Cape Town by the same name. In about 1893 he left for South Africa for Johannesburg, practising on his own account before joining Harry A REID (cf REID & GREEN) in partnership in 1895, having won the competition for Cape Town City Hall in 1894. They opened an office in Cape Town but kept their office in Johannesburg. The partnership ended in 1902 although it continued to be listed in both the Johannesburg and Cape Town directories of 1903.

A letter from HA REID to the South African Architect & Builder (Feb 1905:94) records that Green returned to Australia some time between 1895 and 1899 on private business, leaving much of the work concerning the city hall to Reid; Reid protested that for that reason not all the subsequent credit for the city hall should have been given to Green. No mention is made of this partnership in any sources on Green, such as the South African Who's Who (1908) and his obituaries. Green, apparently in charge of the Cape Town end of the business, continued to live and practise in Cape Town until 1927, although nothing is known of his work between 1905, the date of completion of the city hall, and 1927, the date of his death. According to Picton-Seymour (1977:123) he designed Hiawatha, his Cape Town house.

Green had a reputation as a fine watercolourist, and was instrumental in saving the 'whole grove of fir trees on the Camp Ground Road' from destruction (RIBA Jnl Nov 1927:25 obit). He was a South African delegate to the 7th International Congress of Architects in London in 1906.

ARIBA 1881. (ARIBA nom papers (1881) 22, vol 7 1880-2; Picton-Seymour 1977; Radford 1979; RIBA Jnl Nov 1927:25 obit; RIBA Kal 1886/7, 1894/5; SAA&B Jan 1905:78-9; SAA&B Jul 1905:200-2; SAWW 1908)

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

City Hospital for Infectious Diseases - Fever Hospital: 1895. Cape Town, Western Cape - Design Architect
House Green: Hiawatha: n.d.. Rosebank, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Masonic Hall: 1894. Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect

Books citing GREEN

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880-1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Johnson, Brian Andrew. 1987. Domestic architecture at the Cape, 1892-1912 : Herbert Baker, his associates and his contemporaries. Cape Town: Unpublished Thesis UNISA. pp

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 12

Walker, Michael. 2013. The pioneer architects of Johannesburg and their buildings (1886 - 1899) with postcard illustrations. St James: The Kalk Bay Historical Association. pp 36