Robert Findlay of Montreal - transcripts of his obituaries from the Montreal Star, The Gazette and the Westmount Examiner

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Robert Findlay of Montreal - transcripts of his obituaries from the Montreal Star and The Gazette along with transcripts of an newspaper article from the Westmount Examiner, Thursday, March 29, 1990 recording his posthumous honouring with a brief biography and another newspaper article reporting the illegal demolition of two Robert Findlay designed houses in Montreal</font></strong></u> <ul> <li><a href="#4">Transcripts of Robert Findlay's obituary from the "Montreal Star".</a></li> <li><a href="#5">Transcripts of Robert Findlay's obituary from "The Gazette".</a></li> <li><a href="#6">Transcript of an newspaper article from the Westmount Examiner, Thursday, March 29, 1990 recording the posthumous honouring of Robert Findlay with a brief biography.</a></li> <li><a href="#7">Transcript of a newspaper article (?from the Westmount Examiner?) reporting the illegal demolition of two "Robert Findlay" designed houses in Montreal</a></li> </ul> <hr> <p> <a name="3"></a><u><strong>Cutting from unknown newspaper reporting the election of Frank R. Findlay to a Fellowship in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada</strong></u></p> <div align="center"> <center> <table border="1" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" width="95%" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td width="100%"> <p align="center"><font size="4"><strong>Architect paid High Tribute<br> </strong>--------------------<br> <strong>F. R. Findlay Elected<br> To Fellowship in<br> Royal Institute</strong><br> --------------<br> </font>F. R. Findlay, well-known local architect and member of the firm of Robert and F. R. Findlay, has been elected to Fellowship in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, it was learned here today.<br> Born in Montreal, Mr. Findlay was educated at Westmount Academy and took his architectural course at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia.<br> Graduating in 1912., he practised his profession, in Montreal until the outbreak of the Great War when he enlisted and served overseas until the cessation of hostilities.<br> On his return to Canada he resumed the practice with his father, Robert Findlay, under the name of Robert and F. R. Findlay and is still practicing under that name.<br> During his years in Montreal, Mr. Findlay has designed many public and industrial buildings, as well as a large number of large private homes in the province, among the first named being the Westmount City Hall and Westmount Library.<br> Mr. Findlay is married and resides at 732 Lexington avenue, Westmount.</p> </td> </tr> </table> </center> </div> <p align="left"><a name="4"></a><u><strong>Obituary of Robert Findlay from the Montreal Star of 7th February 1951</strong></u></p> <div align="center"> <center> <table border="1" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" width="95%" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td width="100%"> <p align="center"><font size="4"><strong>Final Tribute Paid to Robert Findlay</strong><br> -----------------------<br> <strong>Veteran Architect<br> Had Noted Career;<br> Was in 92nd Year</strong><br> -----------------------</font></p> <p>A funeral service for Robert Findlay, veteran architect, was held this, morning in the chapel of Tees and Co., 1459 Tower street. Rev. D.M. Grant, minister of St. Andrew's .United Church officiated.<br> Mr. Findlay who died Monday in his 92nd year, was born on May 12, 1859 at Inverness, Invernesshire, Scotland. He began, his career, in architecture at 17, and was first employed by a Scottish firm who designed the Carnegie Public Libraries in Scotland and a large number of wealthy residences, including The MacIntosh, near Inverness and the Aldourie Castle on Loch Ness.</p> <p>Designed Many Buildings</p> <p>In 1885, Mr. Findlay came to Montreal and while working for an architectural firm did valuable work on St. James Methodist Church. During the subsequent years after his work gained wide recognition he designed the Montreal Maternity Hospital on St. Urbain street the first Victoria Hall in Westmount and also the Westmount Public Library and the Westmount City Hall; Calvary Church at Greene and Dorchester street; the first buildings of the Imperial Tobacco Company and the residence of the late Sir Mortimer Davis at Pine avenue and Peel street.<br> Mr. Findlay was a charter member of the Province of Quebec Association, and at the general meeting of the organization in 1938 he was presented with the first medal of Merit issued by the association. At the time of his death, he was the oldest member of the Association of Architects.<br> He was a life-long member of the congregation of St. Andrew's United Church, Westmount, having begun his attendance at the original Melville Presbyterian Church before 1900 on the same site.<br> He is survived by his wife the former Janie A. Fleming, of Edinburgh, Scotland; a son, Francis R. Findlay, and two daughters, Miss Edythe Findlay and Mrs. Donald B. Foss, of Grand'Mere. Another son,, Arthur, died in March 1950. In addition, there are six-grandchildren and two great grandchildren. </td> </tr> </table> </center> </div> <p align="left"><a name="5"></a><u><strong>Obituary of Robert Findlay from the Montreal Gazette of 7th February 1951</strong></u></p> <div align="center"> <center> <table border="1" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" width="95%" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td width="100%"> <p align="center"><i> (*picture*)</i></p> <p align="center"><font size="4"><strong>NOTED ARCHITECT<br> R. FINDLAY, 91, DIES</strong><br> ------------o------------<br> <strong>Funeral Services for Mont-<br> real Designer Set for<br> 11 a.m. Today</strong><br> ---------o---------</font></p> <p>Funeral service for Robert Findlay well known Montreal architect and a resident of this city for many years who died on Monday will be held in the Tees and Co. funeral chapel, 1459 Tower street today at 11 a.m.  Mr Findlay was in his 92nd year.<br> Born in Inverness, Invernesshire, Scotland.  Mr. Findlay came to Montreal in 1885.   He took employment with several architects and in 1887 he won the architectural competition arranged by the Sun Life Assurance Company to select an architect to design the company's new head office, on Notre Dame street west.<br> He opened an office and designed numerous residences, warehouses, factories and public buildings.  Later he was joined by his son, F. R. Findlay.<br> Mr. Findlay was a charter member of the Province of Quebec Architects Association.   In 1938 he was honored by being presented with the first medal of merit to be issued by the group.<br> He was a life-long member of the congregation of St. Andrew's United Church, Westmount, having begun his attendance at the original Melville Presbyterian church on the same site before 1900.<br> Survivors include his widow, the former Janie A. Fleming of Edinburgh, Scotland; a son Francis R. Findlay and two daughters, Miss Edythe M. Findlay and Mrs. Donald B. Foss of Grand'Mere, Que. </td> </tr> </table> </center> </div> <p align="left"><a name="6"></a><u><strong>Extract from the Westmount Examiner, Thursday, March 29, 1990</strong></u></p> <div align="center"> <center> <table border="1" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" width="95%" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td width="100%"> <p align="center"><font size="4"><strong>Five notable Westmounters<br> to be honored posthumously</strong><br> <strong>By Laureen Sweeney<br> (For biographies of the five honorees. please see pages 10 and 11)</strong></font></p> <p>Five distinguished citizens who made Westmount their home have been selected by the city to receive posthumously its first municipal honors.<br> All of those chosen are being recognized as having made an outstanding contribution to Westmount or the community at large in their particular field of achievement.<br> Selected by a citizen honors committee spearheaded by Mayor May Cutler and approved by city council, the following were named last week for a special city tribute April 11:</p> <p>* Therese Casgrain (1896-1981), who fought for civil liberties and women's political rights, later becoming a member of the Senate of Canada;<br> * Robert Findlay (1859-1951), renowned architect, the man who shaped the image of Westmount with his designs for city hall, the library and numerous residences; a builder of many mansions in his native Scotland:<br> * Brig-Gen James A. de Lalanne (1897-1988), decorated First World War hero, leading accountant, a former mayor of Westmount.<br> * William Douw Lighthall (1857-1954), historian, poet, novelist, Westmount's turn-of-the-century mayor;<br> and,<br> * Frank Scott (1899-1985), professor, political activist, humanist and poet, considered to be Canada's greatest authority on constitutional law, a man who fought for everybody's rights.</p> <p>The five represent the "extraordinary talent" of Westmount's citizens, says Mayor Cutler, who conceived the idea of honoring past citizens to preserve history and create awareness of their achievements among younger generations.<br> "She's rescuing history that people may have forgotten," says historians.</p> <p><strong>Biography from pages 10 / 11</strong></p> <p><strong>Robert Findlay<br> (1859-1953)</strong></p> <p>Westmount's city hall has long stood in the minds of many as a symbol of the city - a stone bastion of strength, tradition and security. That landmark along with other buildings, was Robert Findlay's architectural contribution to the city where he lived most of his adult life after emigrating from Scotland.<br> "He's the man who gave us our image. We should honour him," says historian Aline Gubbay who chairs the city's recognition committee.<br> Mr Findlay also designed the library, the original Victoria Hall and more than 30 of the city's larger homes between 1891 and 1938, He was known for numerous buildings but his Queen Anne style and Georgian mansions were his trademark.<br> He became established at the turn of the century as a favorite architect of Montreal's "old rich," particularly those with sympathy for British ways.<br> Mr Findlay built the residence occupied by the Study as well as many homes along Cedar, Lexington and Shorncliffe, living most of his life at 419 Lansdowne, one of his own homes. He later resided briefly at 515 Clarke.<br> Among his more memorable buildings are the Sir Mortimer Davis residence, (now McGill's law faculty), the Westmount municipal buildings, the maternity hospital on St Urbain street, the first factory buildings of Imperial Tobacco and many beautifully decorated homes on the upper slopes of Mount Royal.  He also built the Herbert Molson house on avenue du Musee which became the U.S.S.R. consulate. The building suffered extensive fire damage three years ago.</p> <p><strong>Born in Scotland</strong></p> <p>Mr Findlay was born in Inverness, Scotland, where he started his career at age 17 in the employ of John Rhind, working on Aldourie Castle on Loch Ness. He moved to Glasgow and worked with the well-known architect John Burnett, Sr. One of his co-workers, Sir John James Burnett, built the British Museum and King Edward VII Galleries.<br> He came to Canada in 1885 working with A. F. Dunlop, and the Wright brothers. In 1887 he won a competition to build the Sun Life Assurance head office on Notre Dame street which contained the first electric elevator of its type in Montreal.</p> <p>He opened his own office and was joined in partnership by his son, Francis Robert, with whom he worked until their mutual retirement in 1941.<br> Robert Findlay was a chartered member of the Province of Quebec Association of Architects (1890) and was presented with their first medal of merit in 1938 for outstanding contribution to architecture. He was also a member of the Royal Architectural Institute, of Canada of which his son became a fellow.<br> "Mr Findlay was one of the first to build homes in this area almost entirely of non-combustible materials," recalls a retired Westmount architect. </td> </tr> </table> </center> </div> <p align="left"><a name="7"></a><u><strong> Extract from the ??Westmount Examiner??, reporting the demolition of two houses in Westmount Montreal which had been designed by Robert Findlay</strong></u></p> <div align="center"> <center> <table border="1" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" width="95%" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td width="100%"> <p align="center"><strong><font size="4">Mansions wrecked<br> without permit<br> By WALTER PORONOVICH</font></strong><p>Two stately mansions on Drummond Street north of Sherbrooke were virtually demolished Saturday, without a demolition permit.<br> Before the demolition work could take its entire toll, police from Station 10 moved in and stopped it, with City of Montreal legal counsel Michel Cote supervising the stoppage.<br> Cote said a report on how and why the demolition work was carried out without a permit would be submitted to the city executive committee today.<br> Standing half destroyed are the two structures at 3459 and 3465 Drummond St., on the east side. Both are three-storey buildings.  A third building, at 3471 Drummond, is still intact.<br> Cote said there are no records to show that a demolition permit has been issued by the city, nor is there one pending.<br> The wrecking was so sudden that neither the electricity nor the water was cut off prior to the start of demolition.  Water was still pouring out of a broken pipe yesterday morning in one of the structures.<br> An employee of the firm that owns the crane used in the battering of the building said the machine was hired by a company he identified only as Montcalm Demolition.<br> The employee added that the owners of the crane, John N. Brocklesby Transport, Ltd., were under the impression that the necessary permits were obtained.<br> Bill Brocklesby, sales manager for Brocklesby Transport, said today the company received a call from Montcalm Demolition in Repentigny asking his company for a crane.  Since the call came late on Friday his company had no time to go for a permit.<br> "The Montcalm caller told us he had a permit, so we sent the crane," he added.<br> "We gather that when a company takes over a job like this it is reasonable to suppose they have the correct permit.<br> "I did not take the call myself - but anyway we sent the bloody crane."<br> Brocklesby's dispatcher, Bernard Long, said the call came at 8:20 p.m. Friday from a Mr. Houle who represented Montcalm Demolition, asking for a 30- to 40-ton crane.<br> Long said they mentioned the address where the demolition would take place as 3471 Drummond.<br> He said that in the last few months Brocklesby Transport Ltd. had tried to discourage the hiring of its equipment for demolition purposes because it was hard on the machines and dangerous.<br> "But this was a regular customer - six or seven times a year - so we did our best to serve them.<br> "We offered them a 70-ton crane - very costly - and they agreed to take it.<br> "I asked if they had a permit and the caller said: 'Don't worry, we have a permit and we have a lawyer.'<br> "I was wondering what he meant, but still . . . our crane operator was also assured on the site that the demolition company had a permit.<br> Long said the demolition company signed a form clearing his company of any responsibility.<br> "Now we believe he had no permit and was putting us on.<br> Denis Houle, manager of Demolition Montcalm, was "not at home but would be back after lunch," said his wife when telephoned this morning.<br> She said the business was conducted from their, apartment at 1014 Notre Dame, Repentigny.<br> The third building, at 3471 Drummond St., was apparently also slated for demolition Saturday, but was saved for the time being.<br> Saturday's demolition brought out scores of preservation-conscious citizens, including representatives of Save Montreal, Great Places and the Montreal Citizens' Movement, which holds seats in the Montreal city council.<br> All denounced the act as "scandalous," "incredible" and "an example of the freedom to destroy held by developers."<br> Councillor Robert Keaton, surveying the remains of the turreted mansion at the 3459 address, said: "I can't believe this has happened. "There is no permit to destroy this house."<br> The Drummond Street homes lie north of the boundaries of the municipal zoning bylaws that protect the area bounded by Stanley, Sherbrooke, Guy and Dorchester Boulevard.<br> They were all designed by noted Montreal revivalist architect Robert Finlay, whose many works include McGill University's Purvis Hall at Peel Street and Pine Avenue.<br> The neo-Gothic structure at the 3471 address, still intact, was built about 1905 and was the residence of George Hampton Smithers, a leading businessman of the time and a former head of Montreal Stock Exchange.  The house was later bought by Morris Wilson, a president of the Royal Bank of Canada.<br> The red-brick buildings on Drummond Street are some of Montreal's best examples of the Queen Anne style, with a wide array of architectural details including Moorish arches, cornices and leaded and stained windows. Each home has a distinctive character, though designed by the same man.<br> Michael Fish, a leading crusader against what he calls "wanton destruction" of the city and a member of preservation and conservation groups, called the police to the demolition scene.<br> Extract from the ??Westmount Examiner??, reporting the demolition of two houses in Westmount Montreal which had been designed by Robert Findlay (cont'd)</p> <p>He said he was "horrified" that this was allowed to proceed at that stage.   He said the police, on arrival, immediately asked to see a demolition permit.   When none could be produced, they ordered work to be stopped and summoned Cote.<br> "Look at these buildings," said Keaton, visibly shaken. "How can this be brought back?" </td> </tr> </table> </center> </div> </body> </html>