Burns, William George

BURNS, William George (1870-1949) of Toronto was born there on 1 August 1870 and began work as a carpenter in 1887. The following year he joined the office of Mancel Willmot and served an apprenticeship lasting four years, then worked as draftsman for William G. Storm. He left Canada in 1895 and went to New York City where he obtained further education before moving to Pittsburgh, Penn. It was there that he was fortunate enough to obtain a position as Staff Architect for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Rail Road in 1899 and was given the opportunity to design the P. & L.E. Railroad Station, Smithfield Street at Carson Street, PITTSBURGH, PENN., 1898-1901; restored 1978-83 (James Van Trump, Landmark Architecture of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1967, 43-4, illus.). This significant Beaux-Arts landmark was among the first to integrate commercial offices, passenger arrival and departure halls, and train sheds into one complex, and the Grand Concourse is now considered one of the finest interior public spaces in Pittsburgh. In 1901 Burns was invited to join in a new partnership with Charles H. Craig and Harvey C. Hodgens, as Craig, Hodgens & Burns (1901-02), later Hodgens & Burns (1902-05). He returned to Toronto in 1905 and opened an office under his own name; his best know work there was a substantial Gothic Revival design for Howard Park Methodist Church (1915-16). Burns left the profession after 1922 and worked in the field of real estate and construction before retiring. He died at Port Credit, Ont. on 23 November 1949 (obituary in the Globe & Mail [Toronto], 25 Nov. 1949, 30; inf. from William Burns, Winnipeg; inf. Walter C. Kidney, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation)

(works in Pennsylvania)


PITTSBURGH, PENN., several new apartment blocks on Wightman Street, from Bartlett Street to Beechwood Boulevard, in the Squirrel Hill District, for the owner H. Childs Hodgens, Architect, 1901 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 6 June 1901, 10, descrip.)
PITTSBURGH, PENN., apartment block at the south east corner of West North Avenue at Palo Alto Street, 1901 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 1 June 1901, 8, descrip.)
ALLEGHENY CITY, PENN., Fire Engine House, Lafayette Avenue, in the 10th Ward, 1902 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 27 May 1902, 13)


PITTSBURGH, PENN., Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Brownsville Road near Thielman Avenue, 1902 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 26 Aug. 1902, 5)
ALLEGHENY CITY, PENN., apartment block on Irwin Avenue near Western Avenue for Norman McFerran, 1902-03 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 16 Dec. 1902, 14, descrip.)
BEAVER, PENN., First Methodist Church, 1903 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 14 April 1903, 11; Brickbuilder [New York], xviii, January 1909, 7, illus.)
SEWICKLEY, PENN., a group of five detached houses in the Maple Grove Plan, for the owner Charles H. Craig, Architect, 1904 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 16 Aug. 1904, 7)
SEWICKLEY, PENN., a residence for D.W. Challis, 1904 (Pittsburgh Daily Post, 8 Oct. 1904, 9)


(works in Toronto, Ont.)

RUSHOLME ROAD, near Dewson Street, pair of houses including one for the architect, 1905 (Toronto b.p. 960, 29 May 1905)
WESLEY METHODIST CHURCH, Dundas Street West as Ossington Avenue, a Sunday School for the church, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 31 May 1905, 6, t.c.; Toronto World, 25 June 1906, 9, descrip.)
ST. ANN'S ROAD, residence for James Kerr, 1907 (C.R., xviii, 3 April 1907, 8)
DOVERCOURT ROAD, near Argyle Street, pair of houses for John Dempster, 1908 (Toronto b.p. 10189, 20 March 1908)
BALMORAL AVENUE, near Poplar Plains Road, residence for Horace T. Hunter, 1908 (Toronto b.p. 10837, 5 May 1908)
RUSSELL HILL ROAD, near St. Clair Avenue West, residence for Mrs. J.A. Porter, 1909 (Toronto b.p. 15491, 27 May 1909)
BENLAMOND AVENUE, residence for Robert Shaw, 1909 (City of Toronto b.p. 16639, 29 June 1909; inf. Barbara Myrvold, Toronto)
HIGH PARK BOULEVARD, near Indian Road, residence for James C. Wilgar, 1911 (Toronto b.p. 25865, 16 March 1911)
SMITH MFR. CO., Front Street East at Princess Street, factory, 1912 (Toronto b.p. 33423, 20 April 1912)
HOWARD PARK METHODIST CHURCH, Sunnyside Avenue at Marmaduke Street, 1914-15 (Toronto b.p. 5901, 23 July 1913; Christian Guardian [Toronto], 21 April 1915, 31, descrip.; Const., x, Dec. 1917, 415-17, illus. & descrip.)
INDIAN GROVE, residence for James A. Burns, 1916 (Const., ix, June 1916, 211)
KINGSWOOD ROAD, two detached houses for an unnamed client, 1917 (City of Toronto b.p. 14182, 1917; inf. Barbara Myrvold, Toronto)