Basic Biographical Details

Name: Frank Lewis Worthington Simon
Designation: Architect
Born: 31 March 1862
Died: 19 May 1933
Bio Notes: Frank Lewis Worthington Simon was born on 31 March 1862 at Darmstadt, Germany, the son of David Worthington Simon DD MA PhD. He was educated at Tettenhall College, Wolverhampton and the King Edward VI Grammar School in Birmingham, and was articled to John Cotton in Birmingham in 1879. At the end of his apprenticeship, c.1882, he became an assistant to Jethro Anstice Cossins in the same city before joining the atelier of Jean Louis Pascal and enrolling c.1883 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he spent only one year and was a contemporary of Alexander Nisbet Paterson, John Keppie and Stewart Henbest Capper, sharing rooms with the latter two. After completing the course he spent about a year in Glasgow with Burnet Son & Campbell in 1886 and then a similar period with Wardrop & Anderson: according to his RIBA nomination paper he joined that firm just prior to George Washington Browne's departure. Throughout that period, from sometime before March 1885, Simon had his own studio at 8 York Place from which he made a fine series of drawings of old Edinburgh which formed the basis of his 'Etchings of Old Edinburgh'. He won the Tite Prize in 1887 and commenced independent practice in the following year at 34 St Andrew Square, his first significant commission being a fine house, Outwood, at 8 Mortonhall Road for his father, who had now become Principal Simon. He then formed a partnership with his fellow student at Pascal's, Stewart Henbest Capper, winning the competition for Hope Chapel, Wigan, in 1888. The partnership proved brief and was dissolved by 1889.

In 1890 Simon came into prominence as the architect of the Edinburgh International Exhibition of that year, working in collaboration with the artist-architect William Allan Carter who also had his own studio at 5 St Andrew Square; in that same year Rowand Anderson and David MacGibbon persuaded thirty well-off individuals to subscribe 1,200 for the formation of the Edinburgh School of Applied Art at the Royal Institution. When classes commenced on 17 October 1892 Simon was its first professor with George Mackie Watson as first assistant, quickly joined by his brother John who had run the Edinburgh Architectural Association classes and by Capper, the last giving the School as a whole a marked Ecole des Beaux-Arts bias in its teaching. All owed their appointments to Anderson's patronage, the Watson brothers also being ex-assistants of Anderson's while Capper was an ex-assistant of his former partner George Washington Browne.

Simon moved his private practice to 36 Hanover Street late in 1891 or early 1892. The School of Applied Art was hugely successful in attracting students and later that same year, 1892, pressure of work at the School - where the classes were from 8 to 10am - induced Simon to end his partnership with Capper and enter a short-lived partnership with Charles Edward Tweedie (born 1863). The Simon & Tweedie partnership won the competition for Llanelly Town Hall in 1892 but lost the commission to the local architect William Griffiths. It had more success in Manchester where Simon had won the competition for the Macfadyen Memorial Church, an office being opened in Manchester to build it. The Simon & Tweedie partnership seems to have closed late in 1895 or early in 1896 and in 1897 Simon resigned his chair to concentrate wholly on his practice.

About 1898 Simon merged his practice with that of Alexander Hunter Crawford, born 1865 of the biscuit-making family; Crawford had been in practice in Edinburgh since 1891 following some years in London with R Selden Wornum and the LCC Architects Department, the new partnership of Simon & Crawford being based in Simon's office at 36 Hanover Street. In the following year, 1899, there was a further merger with Rowand Anderson's practice as Anderson, Simon & Crawford. While some clients saw Anderson's age and difficult temperament as a problem - he was then sixty-five - the catalyst may have been the competition for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901 for which they prepared an entry. This partnership also proved brief, being dissolved in 1902 as a result of a lawsuit. Simon and Craword then reverted to their previous partnership name, with an office at 10 Randolph Place, Simon's address then being 67 Great King Street.

Simon was admitted FRIBA on 9 June 1902 his proposers being Burnet, Cotton and Huon Arthur Matear of Liverpool, a pupil of James Francis Doyle. No previous connection between Matear and Simon is known and it may be that Matear was simply seeking a partner to help with the major commission for Holy Trinity Church, Southport, begun in 1903. Simon formally ended his partnership with Crawford in November 1903 and moved to Liverpool where he and Matear won the competition for the giant Liverpool Exchange in 1905 and built Orleans House on Bixteth Street.

In 1910 Simon took into partnership Henry Boddington, born 1881 of the brewing family, apparently for the purpose of entering competitions. Educated at Oxford University, Boddington had been articled to Charles Heathcote & Sons in Manchester, attending Manchester School of Architecture 1904-07. In 1908 Boddington was an assistant with John Belcher from whose office he passed the qualifying exam in 1909. In the following year, 1910, the newly formed partnership entered the Edinburgh Usher Hall competition but were not successful. Two years later, in 1912, they won the competition for the Manitoba Parliament Building in Winnipeg. The Manitoba project proved slow to get off the ground and Simon formed yet another association, with Briggs Wolstenholme & Thornley, to design the Arts Building of Liverpool University in 1913. Initially Simon commuted between his Liverpool practice and his office at 261 Fort Street, Winnipeg, but by 1914 his English address was Dorset House, East Grinstead, Sussex.

On the Manitoba building Simon was assisted by Septimus Warwick. Warwick was born in 1881 and articled to Arthur Vernon, 1895-98 and was successively assistant to H Cowall Boyes, Charles Waymouth, William Alfred Pite, Robert Shekleton Balfour and R Frank Atkinson. In 1905 Warwick formed a partnership with Herbert Austen Hall and between that year and 1909 they had considerable success in competitions but by 1913 they had run out of work and the partnership was dissolved, enabling Simon to engage Warwick to work on the Manitoba Building. Warwick went out to Canada in 1913 and returned with Simon in 1920. He then recommenced practice on his own account.

Boddington was in permanent residence in Winnipeg with his sister from 1914 to look after the project and formed the partnership of Boddington Inman & Skelton, probably to acquire local experience and hopefully further commissions. There were however serious difficulties between both architects and the clients: The Government refused to allow Simon and Boddington to supervise the project, preferring to use their provincial architect. A Royal Commission inquiry in 1915 found that this had been to enable funds for the building to be diverted to party funds and vote-rigging and the Conservative Rublin government had to resign. Simon then became supervising architect and after Boddington enlisted in the Canadian army in 1917 he had to take up full-time residence in Winnipeg until the building was completed and dedicated in July 1920. Probably because of the expectations of the Canadian partners, and because Warwick had previously had his own practice, the relationship between Simon and Boddington had not been an altogether happy one.

Simon returned home on completion of the project and did not practice independently again although he seems to have helped other practices from time to time. Boddington did not return to Canada after his release from war service, recommencing practice in London at 26 Old Burlington Street.

Simon married Lavinia Florence Colefax, daughter of Joseph Samuel Colefax, CA. He died at Mentone on 19 May 1933. John Begg described him as 'a man of great personal charm [who] would have risen to the highest eminence in his profession had it not been for a certain wandering instinct that seemed to be deeply engrained in his nature and that kept him from allowing himself to take root in any one spot'.

'Bits of Old Edinburgh'

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 128, York Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore March 1885  
Item 2 of 1234, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1888After 1890With Capper until 1889 and then on his own
Item 3 of 129, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1889  
Item 4 of 1236, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1891After 1899See Perth EU Church - from this address at this date
Item 5 of 12Manchester, EnglandBusiness1892 * Presumably a branch office opened to facilitate execution of Macfadyen Memorial Church
Item 6 of 1267, Great King Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1892 *After 1902 
Item 7 of 1216, Rutland Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1902 *  
Item 8 of 1210, Randolph Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1903  
Item 9 of 12The Temple, Dale Street, Liverpool, EnglandBusiness1904 Matear and Simon offices
Item 10 of 12Dorset House, East Grinstead, EnglandPrivate/business(?)1910 BN 29 July 1910
Item 11 of 12Liverpool, EnglandBusiness1913 Branch office for the supervision of the Liverpool University project
Item 12 of 12261, Fort Street, Winnipeg, CanadaBusinessc. 1914 * Branch office for the supervision of the Manitoba Parliament Buildings project

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 11Joseph Cotton1879c. 1882Apprentice 
Item 2 of 11Jethro Anstice Cossinsc. 1882c. 1883Assistant 
Item 3 of 11Burnet Son & Campbell1886c. 1887Assistant 
Item 4 of 11Wardrop & Andersonc. 1887c. 1888Assistant 
Item 5 of 11Simon & Capper18881892Partner 
Item 6 of 11Simon & Tweedie1892Late 1895 or early 1896Partner 
Item 7 of 11Simon & Crawford18981899PartnerWith the exception of 1901-1902
Item 8 of 11Anderson Simon & Crawford18991902Partner 
Item 9 of 11Simon & CrawfordJuly 19021903Partner 
Item 10 of 11Matear & Simon1903After 1907Partner 
Item 11 of 11Simon & Boddington19101917Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6Alfred GreigAfter 18851890Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6William Meek Page18941895Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Walter Fairbairn18961897Assistant 
Item 4 of 6William Meek Page18991899Assistant 
Item 5 of 6Herbert J RowseAfter 1907Before 1910Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Septimus Warwick19131920DraughtsmanIn charge of Simon's Winnipeg office for the purposes of the Manitoba Parliament Buildings


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3(Sir) John James Burnet8 June 1902for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Joseph Cotton8 June 1902for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Huon Arthur Matear8 June 1902for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Herbert J Rowse5 December 1910for Associateship
Item 2 of 2John Stuart SymeMid 1928for Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 60c. 1885Albert Buildings  EdinburghScotlandConversion to Army & Navy Stores
Item 2 of 601888Design for a classical church     
Item 3 of 601888Hope ChapelWigan LancashireEnglandWon in competition
Item 4 of 601889Innerleithen Congregational ChurchInnerleithen PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 5 of 601889Outwood  EdinburghScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 6 of 601890sWatergate  Edinburgh Restoration or new build?
Item 7 of 601890Edinburgh International Exhibition of 1890, Meggetland  EdinburghScotlandIn collaboration with William Allan Carter
Item 8 of 601890St Giles House  EdinburghScotlandConversion to hall of residence
Item 9 of 601890Whiteinch OrphanageBroomhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 601891House at ColintonColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 601892Design for a Gothic Church     
Item 12 of 601892House at Inverleith PlaceInverleith EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 601892Llanelly Town HallLlanelly/Llanelli CarmarthenshireWalesCompetition design - placed first but job went to W Griffiths of Llanelly
Item 14 of 601892Macfadyen Memorial ChurchChorlton-cum-Hardy Manchester EnglandBegun by Simon alone; later in partnership with Tweedie
Item 15 of 601893North British Rubber Factory, Castle Mills  EdinburghScotlandNew workshops on corner of Fountainbridge and Gilmore Park.
Item 16 of 601894Congregational ChurchHeaton Moor ManchesterEnglandCompetition design - not placed
Item 17 of 601894Edinburgh Dental Hospital and school  EdinburghScotlandOriginal building
Item 18 of 601894Gorgie EU ChurchGorgie EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 601894Robertson's Court  EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 60c. 1894Russell House, 3 Canongate  EdinburghScotlandInternal alterations
Item 21 of 601895Hopefield, Greenhill Gardens  EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 22 of 601895West Hartlepool Board SchoolHartlepool County DurhamEnglandCompetition design - placed second
Item 23 of 601896Trysull Village InstituteTrysull StaffordshireEngland 
Item 24 of 60c. 1896(?)Trysull SchoolTrysull StaffordshireEngland 
Item 25 of 601897All Saints Parish ChurchTrysull StaffordshireEnglandRestoration of tower and addition of porch
Item 26 of 601897Red House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 601897Villa, 2 South Gillsland Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 28 of 60c. 1897(?)Villa, South Gillsland Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 601898Boys Brigade HomeFountainbridge EdinburghScotland 
Item 30 of 601898Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901Kelvingrove GlasgowScotlandCompetition design exhibited - unplaced
Item 31 of 601899BrizleeColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 601899Colinton Bank HouseColinton EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 33 of 601899Feuing, Braid Estate  EdinburghScotland 
Item 34 of 601899Feuing, Fettes Estate  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 601899Freeland House  PerthshireScotlandAdditions - partial remodelling of entrance front
Item 36 of 601899Inchinnan Parish ChurchInchinnan RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 37 of 601899Keir HouseDunblane PerthshireScotlandNew dining room and smoking room and gates of old Lecropt churchyard
Item 38 of 601899Perth Evangelical Union ChurchPerth PerthshireScotlandBegun by Simon alone; completed in partnership
Item 39 of 601899Pollok House, including lodges  GlasgowScotlandAdditions and alterations - porch, kitchen wing and terrace. Glasgow Storey gives details of alterations: The changes included installing electric lighting, a modern kitchen and additional bathrooms with hot and cold running water. Also two new wings constructed. This billiard room is on the principal floor in one of the new wings.
Item 40 of 601899University of St Andrews, St Mary's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandRemodelling of senate room in library
Item 41 of 60Before 1899Rosefield Cottage Cargil TerraceWarnie EdinburghScotland 
Item 42 of 601900Dalmeny Street Drill HallLeith EdinburghScotlandSpecifically named as architect in Builder reference.
Item 43 of 601901Claremont Congregational ChurchBlackpool LancashireEngland 
Item 44 of 601901Pearce Memorial Hall and InstituteGovan GlasgowScotlandExecuted scheme
Item 45 of 601901Villas, 16-18 Primrose Bank RoadTrinity EdinburghScotlandAlterations (designed by Crawford)
Item 46 of 601902Balmoral CastleBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations and additions including infill of arches on south front (or possibly by Mackenzie). Raising service court on south side. Also other work on estate.
Item 47 of 601902BonnycraigPeebles (near) PeeblesshireScotlandPresumably completed by Crawford after dissolution of partnership
Item 48 of 601902DunalistairColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 49 of 601902Inchinnan Parish Church HallInchinnan RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 50 of 60c. 1902Trysull ManorTrysull StaffordshireEnglandRemodelling
Item 51 of 601903HouseColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 52 of 601903HousesMorningside EdinburghScotland 
Item 53 of 601903North British Rubber Factory, Castle Mills  EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 54 of 60After 1903Holy Trinity ChurchSouthport LancashireEnglandContinued in partnership
Item 55 of 601905Liverpool Cotton Exchange  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 56 of 601907Orleans House  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 57 of 601910Usher Hall  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design
Item 58 of 601912Manitoba Parliament BuildingsEdmonton WinnipegCanadaWon competition and secured job. In charge of the designs for the building - Boddington's practice were the executants, though Warwick was the site architect
Item 59 of 601913Liverpool University Faculty Arts Building  LiverpoolEnglandIn association with Briggs, Wolstenholme & Thornley
Item 60 of 601916Railway ViaductBanff AlbertaCanada 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary   
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder16 June 1933   
Item 2 of 3Builder7 July 1933   
Item 3 of 3RIBA Journal17 June 1933 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp641

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Letters from Marilyn Baker to DMW 1978-79.
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v14 p46 no877 (microfilm reel 11)