Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||William Bow |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||4 January 1882 |
|Died: ||10 August 1956 |
|Bio Notes: ||William Bow was born in Glasgow on 4 January 1882, the son of John William Bow, a prosperous drapery warehouse owner and his wife Margaret Roger Bow. He was articled to John Burnet & Son on 3 September 1898 and studied at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. He was retained as a draughtsman, becoming chief draughtsman when William John Blain left in 1912. Because of Bow's influential mercantile connections the possibility of an eventual partnership in the Glasgow office was discussed, but Bow recognised that Norman Dick's ten year partnership agreement from 1909 was going to make any such advancement too far in the future. As chief draughtsman Bow drew out the administration and nurses' home block of Glasgow Sick Children's Hospital, the remainder being in the hands of his successor as chief draughtsman, John Wilkie Weddel. |
In 1912 Bow's brother Douglas Scott Bow sent him the competition brief for the University of British Columbia campus. He came second with a prize of 3000 dollars and decided to emigrate. He left Burnet's office in January 1913 to set up practice in his brother's office, taking his wife Jean Creber and their two children with him.
Because of family responsibilities Bow did not enlist, undertaking war work at North Vancouver Municipal Hall. He recommenced practice after the war and took James Clark Mackenzie into partnership in 1920. This did not gain a lot of work and Mackenzie's wife and children proved disruptive in the office. In 1923 Bow dissolved the partnership to join the wealthy and extremely successful James Anderson Benzie, a fellow student at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, under the title of Benzie & Bow.
Benzie died in February 1930. Bow then formed a partnership with a somewhat similar society architect, Bernard Cuddon Palmer, under the title of Palmer & Bow. This was equally successful and prospered even through the post-war depression but Palmer died early on24 May 1936. Bow continued to practise under the same name and retained the confidence of Palmer's clients. He was President of the AIBC 1933-35.
Bow worked for Pacific Salvage during the Second World War, taking George Evans into partnership in 1945, but retired in 1946. Nevertheless he did not give up practice completely and was associated with Evans on the design of New Westminster Junior High School in 1949.
Bow died at Gower Point on 10 August 1956. In person he was over six feet tall, soft-spoken and very gentlemanly. In Burnet's office he was 'Mr Bow' perhaps because of his married status and his father's large drapery store, but the photo in Luxton suggests that he was less formal in later years. His architecture was notably Burnetian, the composition of Wilmar, Vancouver, 1925, being markedly reminiscent of Burnet's Corrienessan, built as long ago as 1887.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Glasgow, Scotland||Private/business||1898|| || |
|Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||Private/business||1913|| || |
Employment and Training
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Luxton, Donald (ed.)||2003||Building the West: the early architects of British Columbia|| ||Vancouver: Talon Books|| |
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Research also by Robert Close and personal recollections of A G Lochhead who worked under his supervision in 1911-12.|