Mills, Charles

MILLS, Charles (1860-1934), a leading architect in Hamilton, Ont. where he operated his own office from 1890 to 1909, and then formed a partnership with Gordon Hutton, operating as Mills & Hutton, from 1909 to c. 1914. Born on 1 June 1860 in Hamilton, he joined a real estate firm in 1882 in partnership with John Waldie, then moved to the United States, perhaps to Chicago, where he studied architecture and served an apprenticeship. He returned to Hamilton in 1888 and opened his own architectural office there in 1889 or 1890, and was immediately successful, receiving commissions for commercial, industrial, ecclesiastical and residential works in Hamilton and in nearby towns such as Dundas, Burlington, Niagara Falls and Brantford, Ont.

Mills employed a variety of eclectic styles in his work, ranging from the Scottish Baronial style for the mansion of Reginald A. Kennedy (1891) to the Renaissance Revival style which he used to great effect in his design of the Landed Banking & Loan Building (1907), a monumental bank building that was modelled after the Knickerbocker Trust Co. Building, 5th Avenue at 34th Street, New York City and designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1903-04. His largest and most substantial project was for the nine storey “skyscraper” office tower in downtown Hamilton for the headquarters of the Bank of Hamilton (1905; with addition of three storeys, 1907). The bank directors were sufficiently impressed with this project that they hired Mills as their architect for ten new branches of the bank in towns and cities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia.

In 1905 Mills hired an assistant Gordon J. Hutton, a young architect who had trained in Chicago, and in 1908 he invited Hutton to join him in a formal business partnership. One of their assistants in that office of Mills & Hutton was another young Hamilton architect William R. Souter. When Mills retired from the architectural profession in 1914, Hutton continued to work under his own name, later forming a partnership with his colleague W.R. Souter. Mills devoted much of the rest of his career to the development of the Mills Hardware Co., a successful commercial and retail business which he founded in 1906. The company grew in the 1920’s, opening branches in Hamilton, Galt & Burlington. Mills died in Hamilton on 28 February 1934 (obit. Spectator [Hamilton], 28 Feb. 1934, 7; obit. Engineering & Contract Record [Toronto], xlviii, 14 March 1934, 219; biog. in Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, Vol. 3, 1992, 146-47; inf. Arthur W. Wallace, Hamilton; inf. Mrs. W.G. McCallum, Hamilton).

CHARLES MILLS

(works in Hamilton)

THOMAS MYLES & SON, Hughson Street South at Main Street, office building, 1890 (C.R., i, 26 July 1890, 2)
GEORGE STREET, residence for the architect, 1891 (Architecture & Building [New York], xiv, 16 May 1891, 235, illus.)
HAMILTON LIGHT & POWER CO., power station, 1891 (C.R., ii, 15 Aug. 1891, 2, t.c.)
DUKE STREET, near Pearl Street, residence for Reginald A. Kennedy, 1891 (Architectural Era (Syracuse), v, Oct. 1891, 165, 178-9, illus. & descrip.)
GRAND OPERA HOUSE, James Street North, major alterations and additions, 1892 (C.R., iii, 26 March 1892, 2, t.c.)
SIMCOE STREET METHODIST CHURCH, John Street at Simcoe Street, parsonage for the church, 1892 (C.R., iii, 9 April 1892, 2)
ZION TABERNACLE, Pearl Street at Napier Street, a Sunday School, 1892 (C.A.B., v, Sept. 1892, 91)
CHRIST CHURCH ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL, James Street North, major alterations to Sunday School, 1892 (C.A.B., v, Nov. 1892, 111)
HAMILTON, GRIMSBY & BEAMSVILLE RAILWAY CO., power station, 1893 (C.R., iv, 10 Aug. 1893, 2)
KNOX PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, James Street North at Cannon Street, a new Sunday School, 1894 (C.R., v, 15 March 1894; Globe [Toronto], 17 Sept. 1894, 3, descrip.)
GRAFTON & CO., James Street North, alterations to store, 1896 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2)
ROBINSON STREET, residence for John Knox, 1896 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2)
PARK STREET SOUTH, residence for Frank H. Mills, 1896 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2)
ERIE AVENUE, residence for Alfred Morgan, 1896 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2)
DUNCAN LITHOGRAPHING CO., James Street at Market Street, 1896 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2)
HAMILTON RADIAL RAILWAY, power house, 1896 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2)
BOLD STREET, portico and entrance at 'Holmstead', the residence of William Hendrie, 1896 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2)
WENTWORTH STREET BAPTIST CHURCH, 1897 (C.R., viii, 22 April 1897, 2)
T.H. PRATT STORE (later the George W. Robinson Store), James Street North, new facade and additional storey on the old Bertram Store, 1897; major addition, 1902 (C.R., viii, 29 April 1897, 2; xiii, 3 Sept. 1902, 2)
ONTARIO TACK CO., Queen Street North, addition to factory, 1898 (C.R., ix, 18 May 1898, 2-3)
HAMILTON COFFEE & SPICE CO., MacNab Street South, 1898 (C.R., ix, 22 June 1898, 3)
THOMAS C. WATKINS STORE, King Street East facing Gore Park, 1898 (C.R., ix, 27 July 1898, 3, t.c.; C.A.B., xii, Jan. 1899, 4)
HAMILTON COTTON CO., Mary Street, weaving mill, 1898; major addition, 1902 (C.R., ix, 5 Oct. 1898, 2; xiii, 18 June 1902, 3)
HANNAH STREET WEST, at MacNab Street, residence for James D. Wilson, 1901 (C.R., xii, 12 June 1901, 3, t.c.)
CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION (Anglican), John Street South at Maria Street, a Sunday School, 1901 (C.R., xii, 3 April 1901, 3; Spectator [Hamilton], 27 April 1901, 3, descrip. & illus.)
YORK STREET, near Strathcona Street, four houses for Thomas Crooks, 1902 (C.R., xii, 22 Jan. 1902, 2, t.c.)
FOWLER CANADIAN CO., Rosemary Avenue at Market Hall, store, 1902 (C.R., xii, 22 Jan. 1902, 2)
D. MOORE CO. FOUNDRY, King Street East near Catharine Street North, extensive alterations, 1902; moulding shop, 1903; major addition, 1905 (C.R., xii, 22 Jan. 1902, 2; xiv, 22 July 1903, 3; xiv, 18 Oct. 1905, 2)
MARY STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL, 1902-03; demol. 1973 (C.R., xiii, 30 April 1902, 2, t.c.)
HAMILTON STOCK YARDS, cattle sheds and pavilion, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 16 April 1902, 2)
QUEEN STREET SOUTH, near Aberdeen Avenue, residence for Ira Standish, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 28 May 1902, 2)
KING STREET WEST, near Pearl Street North, residence for Mrs. Robert G. Moggridge, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 18 June 1902, 3)
STANLEY MILLS & CO., King Street East facing Gore Park, department store, 1902-03 (C.R., xiii, 15 Oct. 1902, 2; 10 Dec. 1902, 2)
HAMILTON BRIDGE WORKS, Stuart Street West, office building, 1902-03 (C.R., xiii, 3 Dec. 1902, 2, t.c.)
ROBINSON STREET, at MacNab Street, residence for the architect, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 29 March 1905, 6)
BANK OF HAMILTON HEAD OFFICE, James Street at King Street, 1905; addition of 5 storeys above existing building, and construction of new 8 storey building adjacent, 1907 (Canadian Champion [Milton], 8 June 1905, 3, decrip.; C.R., xvi, 21 June 1905, 6; Const., v, March 1912, 64-8, illus. & descrip.)
GOSPEL TABERNACLE, MacNab Street North, major addition, 1906 (C.A.B., xix, June 1906, 94)
EAGLE SPINNING MILLS, Sanford Avenue North at Wilson Street, warehouse, 1906; major addition, 1907 (C.A.B., xix, June 1906, 94; Const., i, Oct. 1907, 61)
HAMILTON ELECTRIC STREET RAILWAY CO., King Street East at Catharine Street, terminal station and offices, 1906; demol. 1958 (Railway & Marine World, ix, Dec. 1906, 753, descrip.; x, Dec. 1907, 933, illus. & descrip.; Const., i, Oct. 1907, 56-8, illus. & descrip.; Mark Osbaldeston, Unbuilt Hamilton, 2016, 145, illus. & descrip.)
ABEREDEEN AVENUE, at Ravenscliffe Avenue, residence for George W. Robinson, 1906 (dwgs. at OA, Souter & Lenz Coll., Roll 454)
CANADIAN SCREW WORKS, Wellington Street North at Birge Street, factory, 1907 (C.A.B., xx, June 1907, 103)
LANDED BANKING & LOAN CO., James Street South at Main Street, 1907 (C.A.B., xx, June 1907, 103)
WESTINGHOUSE LTD., Wentworth Street North, major additions to factory, 1907 (C.A.B., xx, June 1907, 103)
BANK OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA, Barton Street East at Westinghouse Avenue, 1907 (C.A.B., xx, June 1907, 103)
ABERDEEN AVENUE, at Bay Street, residence for Edwin Mills, 1907 (Spectator [Hamilton], 20 Sept. 1907, 4; inf. Robert Hamilton, Hamilton, Ont.)
ABERDEEN AVENUE, residence for John H. Kerr, 1907 (Spectator [Hamilton], 4 Oct. 1907, 4; inf. Robert Hamilton, Hamilton, Ont.)
DOMINION BANK, King Street West at MacNab Street, 1908 (C.R., xix, 22 April 1908, 17)
MILLS HARDWARE CO., John Street South, store, 1909 (C.R., x.R., xxiii, 10 March 1909, 25)
YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, Jackson Street East at James Street South, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 5 May 1909, 21)
OTIS FENSOM ELEVATOR CO., Victoria Avenue North at Ferrie Street East, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 2 June 1909, 22)

(works outside Hamilton)

BURLINGTON, ONT., Methodist Church and Sunday School, rebuilding of the church after a fire in December 1892, completed in 1893 (C.R., iv, 23 Feb. 1893, 2; Canadian Champion [Milton], 9 March 1893, 2, detailed descrip.)
NIAGARA FALLS, ONT., large hotel for the Niagara Falls Park & Railway Co., 1893 (C.R., iv, 28 Sept. 1893, 1)
GLANFORD, ONT., Case Methodist Church, 1894 (Christian Guardian [Toronto], 17 Oct. 1894, 661, descrip.)
BURLINGTON, ONT., "Thayendanegea", a summer residence for the architect, Water Street at Brant Street, c. 1895; demol. c. 1980 (inf. Burlington Historical Society)
BURLINGTON, ONT., power station for the Hamilton Radial Electric Railway Co., 1896 (C.R., vii, 14 May 1896, 3; Railway & Marine World, i, April 1898, 51, illus. & descrip.)
DUNDAS, ONT., residence and stables for Capt. J.J. Grafton, 1896; stables, 1898 (C.R., vii, 28 May 1896, 2; ix, 13 April 1898, 4)
SIMCOE, ONT., Methodist Church, 1896 (C.R., vii, 12 Nov. 1896, 2)
DUNDAS, ONT., Sunday School for the Methodist Church, 1897 (C.R., viii, 17 June 1897, 2; Christian Guardian [Toronto], 22 Dec. 1897, 804, descrip.)
BARTON TOWNSHIP, school for S.S. No. 8, 1898 (C.R., ix, 11 May 1898, 6)
GRAVENHURST, ONT., memorial cottage for patients at the Sanatorium for Consumptives, 1898 (C.R., ix, 27 July 1898, 2)
LINDSAY, ONT., a large Sunday School building for St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, William Street North at Peel Street, 1898 (Watchman [Lindsay], 25 Aug. 1898, 3)
BRANTFORD, ONT., major addition to the John H. Stratford General Hospital, and a new isolation hospital, Lawrence Street, 1899 (C.R., x, 5 April 1899, 2; 6 Sept. 1899, 2)
DUNDAS, ONT., alterations to the Methodist Church, 1900 (C.R., xi, 21 Feb. 1900, 3)
MUSKOKA, ONT., summer residence at Port Carling for J.C. Woods, 1900 (C.R., xi, 26 Sept. 1900, 3)
BRANTFORD, ONT., E.B. Crompton Department Store, Colborne Street, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 28 May 1902, 2)
BRANTFORD, ONT., Grafton & Co. Store, Colborne Street, rebuilding and alterations, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 11 June 1902, 2, t.c.)
TORONTO, ONT., stables and storage building for Hendrie Cartage Co., Front Street West at Peter Street, 1904; demol. (Toronto b.p. 731, 23 June 1904)
MOOSE JAW, SASK., Bank of Hamilton, Main Street North, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 5 July 1905, 7)
BRANDON, MAN., Hamilton Provident & Loan, Eleventh Street near Rosser Avenue, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 26 April 1905, 6, t.c.)
BURLINGTON, ONT., Public Library, Brant Street, 1906 (C. Emery, From Pathway to Skyway: A History of Burlington, 1967, 211)
WINNIPEG, MAN., Bank of Hamilton, Main Street at Burrows Avenue, c. 1906 (dwgs. at OA, Souter-Lenz Coll., roll 677)
BRANTFORD, ONT., Bank of Hamilton, Market Street at Colborne Street, remodelling of existing building, 1907 (Const., i, Nov. 1907, 70)

MILLS & HUTTON

(works in Hamilton and elsewhere)

Y0UNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, James Street South at Jackson Street, 1909 (C.R., xxiii, 8 Sept. 1909, 20, t.c.)
PARIS, ONT., Bank of Hamilton, 1909 (dwgs. at Toronto Dominion Bank Archives)
REID PRESS CO., MacNab Street South, 1909 (dwgs. at OA, McDonnell Coll., Acc. 13834)
PRINCETON, ONT., Bank of Hamilton, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 5 Oct. 1910, 28)
LINDSAY, ONT., Sunday School of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, c. 1910 (dwgs. at OA, Wm. Blackwell Coll.)
SASKATOON, SASK., Bank of Hamilton, Second Avenue South at 21st Street, 1910 (dwgs. at OA, Souter & Lenz Co.., Roll 677)
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C., Bank of Hamilton, First Street at Lonsdale Avenue, 1910 (dwgs. at OA, Souter & Lenz Co.., Roll 677)
LOCKE STREET, at Aberdeen Avenue, retail store for William Carroll, 1911 (Spectator [Hamilton], 9 June 1911, 21, illus.; 15 June 1911, 1 and 9; inf. Robert Hamilton, Hamilton, Ont.)
HERKIMER STREET, residence for H.E. McLaren, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 29 June 1911, 61)
HAMILTON MOUNTAIN, residence for Edward Morwick, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 29 June 1911, 61)
ABERDEEN AVENUE, near Locke Street, residence for Hugh Brennan, 1911-12 (C.R., xxv, 4 Oct. 1911, 59, t.c.; Spectator [Hamilton], 7 May 1912, 13; inf. Robert Hamilton, Hamilton, Ont.)
CHEDOKE PARK, on the Mountain Brow, residence for G.M. Southam, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 13 Sept. 1911, 59, t.c.; Const., ix, June 1916, 173, 182-3, illus. & descrip.; The Studio Yearbook of Decorative Art [London], 1916, 100, illus.)
BURLINGTON, ONT., Public School, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 10 Jan. 1912, 62)
(with W.A.Mahoney) GUELPH, ONT., Young Men's Christian Association, Quebec Street at Norfolk Street, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 28 June 1911, 57)
DELAWARE AVENUE, residence for William Lees, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 13 March 1912, 69)
DOMINION VINEGAR CO., Stuart Street West, warehouse, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 27 March 1912, 72)
ABERDEEN AVENUE, residence for C.W. Fielding, 1912 (Spectator [Hamilton], 28 May 1912, 11; inf. Robert Hamilton, Hamilton, Ont.)
McLAREN'S LTD., Merrick Street at Park Street, factory, 1912 (dwgs. at OA, Souter & Lenz Coll., Roll 430)
STANLEY MILLS & CO., Barton Street East, store and factory, 1913 (dwgs. at OA, Souter & Lenz Coll.)
YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, Main Street West near James Street, c. 1914 (Const., viii, May 1915, 189-91, illus. & descrip.)
MARKLAND STREET, at James Street South, residence for Harry L. Frost, c. 1915 (Const., ix, June 1916, 174, 179-81, illus. & descrip.)
BAY STREET SOUTH, 'Blink Bonnie', a residence for Col. James R. Moodie, c. 1915 (Const., ix, June 1916, 173-5, illus. & descrip.)
PORT NELSON, ONT., 'Lakehurst Villa', a residence for W.D. Flatt, c. 1915 (Const., ix, June 1916, 173, 176-7, illus. & descrip.)