La Chance, Walter William

La CHANCE, Walter Willliam (1870-1951) was born in Brockville, Ont. on 12 April 1870, the son of William Ellis La Chance and Augusta F. La Chance. He graduated from the Case School of Applied Science (now Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, Ohio in 1884 and was later employed as a draftsman with the firm of Cramer & Fugman (Cleveland City Directory for 1889-1890, 444). From 1890 to 1893 he was the staff architect at the Van Dorn Iron Works and was credited with the invention of the La Chance patent electric locking device for prison doors. He formed a partnership in Cleveland in 1894 with Alfred A. French (as French & La Chance), and the following year was recorded as operating an office there under his own name. In 1896 he entered another partnership with Vincent E. Gregg (as Gregg & La Chance), but this too lasted only a few months, and the following year La Chance had crossed the border to Canada and opened an office at Hamilton, Ont., where he maintained a successful practice until early 1905. The building boom in the Canadian prairies prompted him to relocate in Regina in 1905, but within a year he was on the move once again, this time to Saskatoon. He opened branch offices in Prince Albert in 1906, and in Yorkton, Sask. in 1912, and in North Battleford, and was among the first architects in Western Canada to make extensive use of reinforced concrete in multi-storey construction. In 1912 he formed a new partnership in Saskatoon with C.H. Howenstein, but like the other collaborations before this, it was short-lived, and terminated in 1913. La Chance appears to have left Saskatchewan in 1913 or 1914, and returned to Ontario in 1917 where he opened an office in the Niagara Peninsula at Welland, Ont. and continued to specialize in the design of schools as well as public and commercial buildings. Another attempt at a partnership, this time with local architect Norman Kearns, was announced in 1919, but was dissolved in August 1920 (Canadian Engineer, xxxviii, 2 Sept. 1920, 313). In October 1920 La Chance had moved to nearby St. Catharines, Ont. to open an office, but by 1921 he had moved across the border to Niagara Falls, New York where he was listed as a partner in the firm of White & La Chance, Architects. The 1931-32 Directory for that American city recorded him as still residing there, but no references can be found to his architectural activity after 1933. He later returned to Canada, settling at Thorold, near Welland, Ont., and died there on 23 September 1951 (obituary and death notice Welland Tribune, 24 Sept. 1951, 5; funeral tribute 26 Sept. 1951, 5).

La Chance holds a unique position in early 20th C. Canadian architecture as the author of an important book promoting his own work and his approach to design. Entitled 'Modern Schoolhouses' and published in 1919 by W.L. Briggs Co. of Toronto, this 262 page book contained photographs and drawings of thirty Canadian school buildings which he had designed throughout the Prairies and in Ontario between 1906 and 1920. He employed a variety of eclectic styles ranging from a mannered Edwardian style to the more formal symmetry of the Beaux-Arts style, which he used to great effect in his design for the Beamsville High School (1917). A list of his works in the United States and Canada can be found in a self-advertisement in the book by Ernest J. Chalmers entitled The Royal North-West Mounted Police: A Corps History, 1906 (advert. and list of works in The Evening Capital [Saskatoon], 12 May 1909, 53; advert. and list works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff, illus.; inf. Gordon Fulton, Ottawa; Brock Silversides, Saskatoon; inf. Ross Herrington, Regina; Cathy Comar, Welland Public Library)

HAMILTON & AREA

HAMILTON GOLF CLUB HOUSE, 1897 (C.R., viii, 15 April 1897, 2; C.A.B., xi, October 1898, illus. )
HAMILTON CITY HOSPITAL, Barton Street East at Victoria Avenue North, major addition, 1897 (C.R., viii, 8 July 1897, 2, t.c.)
GRIMSBY, ONT., canning factory and evaporating works, perhaps for Canadian Canners Ltd., Robinson Street North, 1898 (C.R., ix, 9 March 1898, 2)
PUBLIC SCHOOL, Beach Road, near the Jockey Club racetrack, 1898 (C.R., ix, 16 March 1898, 3)
BARTON TOWNSHIP, Public School, Lot 5, Concession 11, 1898 (C.R., ix, 23 March 1898, 3, t.c.)
HERKIMER STREET, residence for Samuel Kemp, 1898 (C.R., ix, 23 March 1898, 3)
E.T. WRIGHT & CO., Cathcart Street, factory, 1898 (C.R., ix, 22 June 1898, 3)
SALTFLEET TOWNSHIP, addition to school at Stoney Creek, 1898 (C.R., ix, 22 June 1898, 3)
HEMMING & MARSHALL CO., O'Reilly Street at Walnut Street, office block and sheds, 1898 (C.R., ix, 22 June 1898, 3; C.A.B., xii, April 1899, illus.)
GRIMSBY, ONT., Bank of Hamilton, Main Street West, 1898 (C.R., ix, 10 Aug. 1898, 2)
BEAMSVILLE, ONT., store for William Gibson, 1898 (C.R., ix, 5 Oct. 1898, 3)
ALBION TOWNSHIP, Peel County, Presbyterian Church, 1898 (C.R., ix, 16 Nov. 1898, 2)
ELIAS ROGERS CO., Cannon Street East at Ferguson Avenue North, office block and sheds, 1898 (C.R., ix, 23 Nov. 1898, 2)
DUNDAS, ONT., residence for John Inkseter, 1899 (C.R., x, 30 Aug. 1899, 2)
CAROLINE STREET SOUTH, at Markland Street, residence, possibly for James Milne, 1899 (C.R., x, 4 Oct. 1899, 3)
LOCKE STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Locke Street South at Herkimer Street, 1899 (C.R., x, 26 April 1899, 4)
KING STREET, hotel for George Heilig, 1900 (C.R., xi, 1 Aug. 1900, 3)
WYOMING, ONT., hotel, 1901 (C.R., xii, 12 June 1901, 3)
CHARLTON AVENUE METHODIST CHURCH, Charlton Avenue West at Hess Street South, c. 1919 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)

REGINA

CORNWALL STREET, at 12th Avenue, apartment block for Dr. Seymour, 1906 (Regina Standard, 28 Feb. 1906, 13, descript.; C.R., xvii, 21 March 1906, 6)
WINDSOR HOTEL, additions and alterations, 1906 (C.R., xvii, 21 March 1906, 6)
HENRY W. LAIRD CO., Dewdney Avenue near Lorne Street, warehouse, 1906 (C.R., xvii, 21 March 1906, 6; Morning Leader [Regina], 15 Dec. 1906, 1, illus. & descrip.)
unnamed street, residence for Frederick W.G. Haultain, 1906 (Regina Standard, 13 June 1906, 15)
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY, South Railway Street at Rose Street, industrial store, 1906 (Regina Standard, 13 June 1906, 15)
HASLAM BLOCK, Scarth Street, 1906 (Regina Standard, 13 June 1906, 15, descript.; Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
ARMOUR BLOCK, Broad Street near South Railway Street, 1906 (Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
REGINA STEAM LAUNDRY CO., Rose Street near Victoria Avenue, 1906 (Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
BANK OF OTTAWA, Broad Street, 1907 (Morning Leader [Regina], 27 April 1907, 11, 22, illus.)

SASKATOON

J.F. CAIRNS BLOCK, Second Avenue near 21st Street, 1906 (Regina Standard, 21 Feb 1906, 16; C.R., xvii, 21 March 1906, 5; Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
GORDON & SPARLING, Second Avenue, store, 1906 (Regina Standard, 21 Feb. 1906, 16)
QUEEN STREET, near Spadina Crescent, residence for W. Percival Kirkpatrick, 1906 (Regina Standard, 21 Feb. 1906, 16)
YOUNG & McBETH BLOCK, Second Avenue at 22nd Street, 1906; demol. (C.R., xvii, 21 March 1906, 5; Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
BOWERMAN BLOCK, 21st Street near Second Avenue, 1906 (C.R., xvii, 18 April 1906, 4)
CLINKSKILL BLOCK, 21st Street East near Second Avenue, 1906 (Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
THE PHOENIX BUILDING, Second Avenue, 1906 (C.R., xvii, 2 May 1906, 4, t.c.; Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
SASKATOON CITY HOSPITAL, Queen Street at Seventh Avenue, 1907 (C.R., xvii, 5 Dec. 1906, 2; Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4; Const., iii, Dec. 1909, 96-7, illus. & descrip.)
FLANIGAN HOUSE HOTEL, Third Avenue at 21st Street, 1907 (C.R., xviii, 24 April 1907, 6; Const., iii, May 1910, 87-8, illus. & descrip.)
CHUBB BLOCK, 21st Street, 1907 (Const., i, Nov. 1907, 70; iii, Dec. 1909, 96-7, illus. & descrip.)
SIXTH AVENUE NORTH, residence for Edward H. McLorge, 1908 (C.R., xxii, 7 Oct. 1908, 26)
SASKATOON SKATING & CURLING RINK, 1908 (C.R., xxii, 28 Oct. 1908, 26)
GREAT WEST FURNITURE CO., Second Avenue South, 1909 (Saskatoon Capital, Anniversary Number, 12 May 1909, 41)
WILSON BROTHERS BLOCK, Second Avenue North at 22nd Street, 1909 (Saskatoon Capital, Anniversary Number, 12 May 1909, 41)
DRINKLE BLOCK, 21st Street East at Fourth Avenue, 1909; burned 1925 (Const., iii, Dec. 1909, 96-7, illus. & descrip.)
CENTRAL FIRE HALL, 23rd Street East near Fourth Avenue, 1909 (Const., iii, Dec. 1909, 96-7, illus. & descrip.)
BALDWIN BLOCK, Second Avenue South, 1909 (Morning Leader [Regina], Saskatoon Supplement, 19 June 1909, descrip.; Const., iii, Dec. 1909, 96-7, illus. & descrip.)
VICTORIA PUBLIC SCHOOL, Broadway Avenue at 12th Street East, 1909-10 (C.R., xxiii, 5 May 1909, 19; Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 147-56, illus.)
McCLARY MANUFACTURING CO., Albert Avenue near 22nd Street, addition to warehouse c. 1910 (dwgs. at Univ. of Western Ontario, D.B. Weldon Library, Moore Coll.)
MASONIC TEMPLE, 21st Street East at Fourth Avenue South, 1909-10 (list of works in Henderson's City of Saskatoon Directory, 1912, 90-1, advert.)
SASKATCHEWAN CRESCENT, residence for William Hopkins, Mayor, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 9 Feb. 1910, 23)
FERGUSON BLOCK, Second Avenue South, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 2 March 1910, 26)
SASKATOON CLUB, 21st Street East near Third Avenue South, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 5 April 1911, 55)
WILLOUGHBY-SUMNER BUILDING, Third Avenue South at 20th Street East, 1911-12; altered (C.R., xxvi, 24 Jan. 1912, 61, descrip.; 10 April 1912, 49, illus. & descrip.)
ODDFELLOW'S TEMPLE, 21st Street East near Fifth Avenue South, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 10 April 1912, 69; dwgs. St Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room)
ST. PAUL'S ROMAN CATHOLIC HOSPITAL, Avenue P South at 20th Street, c. 1912 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
CHRIST CHURCH (Anglican), Rusholme Road at Avenue E North, c. 1912 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
MASSEY HARRIS CO., 23rd Street at First Avenue, c. 1912 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
NATIONAL TRUST CO., Second Avenue South at 20th Street, c. 1912 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
UNION BANK, Second Avenue South at 21st Street, c. 1912 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)

ELSEWHERE

YORKTON, SASK., Town Hall, 1905 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
SWIFT CURRENT, SASK., Public School, 1906 (C.R., xvii, 25 July 1906, 2; Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
DAVIDSON, SASK., Public School, 1906 (Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4; Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 126-30, illus.)
ROSTHERN, SASK., Janzen Block, 1906 (Morning Leader [Regina], 27 Dec. 1906, 4)
MELFORT, SASK., store for Clift Brothers, 1907 (C.R., xviii, 27 March 1907, 6)
WILKIE, SASK., Public School, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 3 Feb. 1909, 21, t.c.)
ESTEVAN, SASK., Public School, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 7 July 1909, 20, t.c.)
WATROUS, SASK., Public School, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 4 Aug. 1909, 21, t.c.; Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 131-3, illus.)
VONDA, SASK., Town Hall, 5th Street, 1909 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
HANLEY, SASK., Public School, 1909 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
WATROUS, SASK., Sanatarium, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 22 Sept. 1909, 21)
DELISLE, SASK., Public School, c. 1910 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 93, illus.)
WARMAN, SASK., Public School, c. 1910 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 94, illus.)
HAGUE, SASK., Public School, c. 1910 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 110-11, illus.)
DUCK LAKE, SASK., Public School, c. 1910 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 124-6, illus.)
HUMBOLDT, SASK., Public School, c. 1910 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 113-15, illus.)
YORKTON, SASK., Collegiate Institute, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 9 Feb. 1910, 22; Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, , 177-82, illus.)
EVESHAM, SASK., Public School, 1911 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
MELFORT, SASK., Public School, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 19 July 1911, 59; Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 159-67, illus.)
WYNYARD, SASK., Public School, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 24 May 1911, 61; Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 117-19, illus.)
YORKTON, SASK., a Theatre, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 19 July 1911, 60)
YORKTON, SASK., Roman Catholic Hospital, 1911-12 (C.R., xxv, 13 Dec. 1911, 118-19, t.c.)
BATTLEFORD, SASK., Town Hall, 1912 (Saskatchewan Association of Architects, Historic Architecture of Saskatchewan, 1986, 73, illus.)
NORTH BATTLEFORD, SASK., Presbyterian Church, 13th Avenue at 102nd Street, 1912-13 (News-Optomist [Battleford], 28 May 2013, illus.; inf. Frank Korvemaker, Regina)
BREDENBURY, SASK., Public School, c. 1912 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
BORDEN, SASK., Public School, c. 1914 (list of works in Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 1919, 96 ff., advert.)
WINONA, ONT., Public School, c. 1917 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 115-16, illus.)
ELMIRA, ONT., Public School, c. 1917 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 134-5, illus.)
BELWOOD, ONT., Public School, c. 1917 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 102-04, illus.)
SCARBOROUGH, ONT., Public School at West Hill, c. 1917 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 120-3, illus.)
BEAMSVILLE, ONT., High School, c. 1917 (Const., x, July 1917, 233-5, illus. & descrip.; Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 135-40, illus.)
EAST ZORRA TOWNSHIP, Oxford County, Consolidated School, 1918 (C.R., xxxii, 26 June 1918, 43)
WELLAND, ONT., theatre, stores, offices and recreation hall for C.J. Laughlin, Main Street South, 1918 (C.R., xxxii, 16 Oct. 1918, 41)
WELLAND, ONT., Fire Hall, Main Street East, 1919 (C.R., xxxiii, 28 May 1919, 54, t.c.; xxxiv, 22 Dec. 1920, 1220-21, illus. & descrip.)
WELLAND, ONT., Public School, c. 1919 (Modern Schoolhouses, 1919, 168-72, illus.)
WELLAND, ONT., White's Block, Main Street West at Frazer Street, 1919 (Vernon's City of Welland Directory, 96ff, illus. and list of works in advert.)