A BUILDER OF CITIES.
A FAMOUS ADELAIDE ARCHITECT WHO DESIGNED THE TOWN HALL AND MANY NOBLE EDIFICES
In nearly every, city in the universe there is something distinctive about the architecture of its principal buildings. There may be a great sameness in the sub-
urban residential dwellings, both large and small, but somehow or other the public buildings in the main thoroughfares in each metropolis differ in style from those of other cities. To those gentlemen who designed and superintended the erection of the public buildings, in the early days, the capitals of Australia owe much. They were the pioneers who to a great extent by the artistic merits of their designs and the careful and capable manner in which they supervised the erection of these edi- fices moulded the style which, with here and there a pleasing breakaway in origin- ality, was destined to become distinctive of the centre in which, they plied their profession. Adelaide especially, owes much to her architects. Certainly the wide streets so wisely planned by the late Col. Light go a great way to showing off the beauties of artistically designed buildings, but it would have been a sad thing if the city of to-day had been marred by huge piles of unsightly edifices. However, the capitals of Australia have been exceeding- ly lucky in having had high-class archi tects to design their main buildings from the early days right up to the year of our Lord 1913, and Adelaide has been par- ticularly fortunate in this respect. Among the best known and most highly respected of the Adelaide architects who had much to do in making the Garden City so well known for its noble public buildings is Mr. Edward John Woods. F.R.I.B.A. (Woods & Bagot), Steamship Buildings. Currie street. Mr. Woods, who is still hale and hearty, has passed the allotted span of three score years and ten by three years. He is a colonist of 53 years standing, and has followed his calling for over half a century. One day this week he was visited in his cosy little office, and readily acquiesced to a 'Mail' man's re- quest to talk about old times. AII over Australia Mr. Woods is regarded as being one of the leading architects of the Com- monwealth on account of his recognised ability and his many years identification with the progress of his profession in this State. 'Yes,' said Mr. Woods, ''I have had a lot to do with, the building of Adelaide. I was born in London — let me - see, yes, in 1839, and was educated at several public schools. When it came to the time for me to choose tbe trade or profession should adopt as my life's work I decided on becoming an architect, and served my articles for three years in the office of Mr. C. J. Richardson, one of the best known men in his profession in the capi- tal of Great Britain, I took full advant- age of this opportunity to gain an insight into the profession I had adopted and subsequently spent two years in the office of Mr. T. E. Knightly, architect.' .'When did you make up your, mind to try rour fortunes in sunny Australia?' 'My first notion of emigrating to the Australian colonies was when I had an offer from Dr. William Browne to come out here. He pointed out the splendid prospect that Australia held out to young men, and added that he would endeavour by all means in his power to give me a good start. So at last I set out for South Australia, and arrived here in the sailing vessel Blackwall, one of Green's line, and arrived at Port Adelaide, in 1860.' ''Did you at once find employment as an architect?
'Now, for a few words about what you have done for Adelaide in the way of de- signing many of the public buildings. 'The first building I had to do with was the head office of the National Bank, King William street, which was erected to- gether with the Imperial Chambers, I also designed and superintended ihe erection of several branch offices of the bank, not only in the suburbs, but in the country at Ka- punda and elsewhere. While that was go- ing on we called for tenders for the Town Hall. I made all the drawings for the Adelaide Town Hall, and also for the Town Hall at Port Adelaide. I made the de- signs and all the working drawings for the Adelaide Post Office when I was with Mr. Wright (Wright & Woods). We gain- ed the work in open competition, and, of course, the work was given to us to carry out. We made the working drawings, call- ed for tenders, and actually put in all the foundations, even, from the basement to the tower. The. Government of the day then thought it would be better to carry out the work departmentally. This was resolved upon, and the Government paid us £1,200 as compensation for not being allowed to carry the work on. 'Then you were the actual designer of the Post Office?' 'Yes. I not only won it in open com- petition, but made the working drawings upon which tenders were called for by us and accepted by the Government. We then went on wilh the Town Hall. The next important building to come along was St. Peter's Cathedral. Bishop Short called on me and informed me that the church au- thorities would have nothing to do with any local architect but myself, and that he would give the work to me only. In consequence I reluctantly dissolved part- nership with Mr. Wright. I next proceed- ed to prepare the working drawings for the designs made by Mr. Butterfield, of London. In doing this I very materially altered tbe designs and made the building larger. The front is entirely my own, and has nothing whatever to do with Mr. But- terfield's original design. That, however, came later. The building was carried out in three sections. After the first section had been completed nothing was done for 20 years or more. Then the church autho- rities proceeded with the building of the nave and a portion of the towers. Even- tually Mr. Barr Smith gave a donation of £10,000 with which to finish tbe towers. All this work came under my supervision, and I was sole architect from laying the very first stone to the last. The Cathedral is now practically finished, although the chapter house is not yet built. ' 'I was in the Government service when the idea of building a State Parliament House was first mooted. A special meet- ing of the building committee was held, ' and I was instructed to attend it. We went through the plans, and they were found to be defective in many details, and I was told to entirely remodel them. The design originally came from Messrs. Taylor and Wright. Mr. Wright had already put in portion of the foundations when I came on the scene, and I took all these founda- tions out. I was then instructed to call for tenders for the first portion, which included the Chamber of the House of Assembly, smoke room, corridors, &c. The tender of the Kapunda Marble Company was accepted at something like £100,000,
and they proceeded with the work of lay- ing the foundation and the lower portion of the buildings, which were faced with granite. Then there came some difficulty about the marble, and the committee said they could not go ahead, as the marble portion would cost them too much. The Government, after consideration, allowed the company to withdraw. The work was retendered for, and was secured by Mr. James Shaw; under contract for about £102,000. Previous to this something like £30,000 had been spent by the Kapunda Marble Company. I supervised the con- tract right through till the building was completed, and put in all the fittings and all the special ventilation, which is differ- ent from that in any other building. After that I had nothing else to do with it, as the Superintendent of Public Build- ings took it up in tbe ordinary course' of his duties. 'When I was in the Government service the Governor's residence at Marble Hill, where about £25,000 was spent, was car- ried out under my supervision. All the execution of the work was done under the immediate direction of Mr. James Shaw as the manager for works. Among the other numerous buildings carried out under my supervision during the time I was in the Government Service were the new Government offices in Victoria square, tbe first wing of the Public Library, the Quarantine Station, large additions to the Parkside Asylum, &c. 'I also designed and erected additions to the Parkside Asylum, many public build ings and schools, for the Government, in all parts of the State when I was in the Pulic Service. As soon as I left the service the then Archbishop of Adelaide sent for me and gave me instructions to make additions to the St. Srancis Xa- vier's Cathedral. I carried this out to their entire satisfaction, though it was a com- paratively small job. In addition to that, I put up several convents in Adelaide, Port Pirie, Broken Hii, &c., also numerous cha- pels, both in the city, suburbs, and coun try districts. ' I While eating a free lunch at a bar in New York, an Englishman named Pete* Clemens was /'hnfrftfl with too log a fBeo. of meat and djed. Great interest has been aroused in Some by the excavation of the villa of the/poet' I Horace, in an excellent state of preserva ition. . -'-.?-' A process for colouring ligfat-bued puje apples by iujecting cane sugar' syrup into them has been .patented by a man is Honolulu. - A painting of the great fire of Chicago, which originally cost £30,000. is now in tbe possession of a secondhand dealer, mho asks eight dollars for itt DurinK 'the month of April S3 Vessels with a total tonnage of 119,000 tons were built in the Clyde. These figures' consti- tute ^ record for the- month. Frutos Garcia, of Valdepcnas, Spain, was evicted recently from a wine cask in which he had made his abode since b«Jinz jilted tihree years ago by his sweetheart, and whence he issued niehtlv on forat^np raids on farmhouses, in which he was accom panied by a large 'tomcat. ?
M&. ^^ WdbaS, FJIJ.B.A.
M&. ^^ WdbaS, FJIJ.B.A.