West, James Pender

WEST, James Pender (1868-1939) came to Canada from South Africa where he had a successful practice in East London, Cape Colony. Born in Bungay, Suffolk, England in 1868 he articled with John B. Pearce of Norwich from 1888 to 1891, then worked as his assistant until 1896. He moved to London, Engl. and formed a partnership with H. Bignold, but West found the cold, damp English climate was not conducive to his health and by 1899 he decided to move to Cape Town, South Africa and entered the office of Parker & Forsyth, who immediately sent him to supervise the construction of their design for Cuthbert's commercial block in East London. By 1901 West had opened his own office there and received several commissions to design schools in nearby Cambridge, Lady Frere, Stutterheim, Butterworth and Cathcart. His best known work in the region is the bold Edwardian design for the Town Hall in Cathcart (1905), and for the Municipal train depot at East London (D. Picton-Seymour, Victorian Buildings in South Africa, 1977, 220-22, illus.).

West then moved to Canada in early 1909 and settled at Winnipeg where he joined the staff of the Winnipeg City Light & Power Co. and designed several of their power and tranformer stations. He opened his own office in 1911 and formed a partnership with D.W.F. Nichols in late 1912 (see list of works under Nichols & West). Their practise was a brief one, and was dissolved within a year, and no references to West can be found after 1913 (biog. in F.H. Schofield, The Story of Manitoba, 1913, ii, 287-88). West later returned to England and died at Horsham, West Sussex on 25 December 1939 (England & Wales, National Probate Calendar, 1940, p. 203, probate record for James Pender West). A photographic portrait of West appeared in the South African Architect, Engineer & Surveyors Journal, Oct. 1905.


CITY LIGHT & POWER CO., power station, King Street, 1910 (Manitoba Historic Resources Dept., The Architecture of Functionality, by D. Spector, 1981, 29-31)
CITY LIGHT & POWER CO., terminal station, River Avenue, 1911 (Winnipeg Telegram, 17 April 1911, 15)
HEKLA APARTMENTS, Toronto Street, 1911 (Winnipeg b.p. 1638, 1911; Const., v, April 1912, 54, illus.)
ALLISON APARTMENTS, Wolseley Avenue, 1912 (Winnipeg b.p. 451, 1912; City of Winnipeg, 1990-The Year Past, 65-6, illus.)
VINBORG APARTMENTS, Agnes Street, 1912 (Winnipeg b.p. 593, 1912)
EDGAR COURT APARTMENTS, Burrows Avenue, 1913 (Winnipeg b.p. 2374, 1913)


YORKTON, SASK., public school, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 14 Feb. 1912, 63, t.c.)
CANORA, SASK., hospital for the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, 1912-13 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 21 Sept. 1912, 11, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xxvii, 19 Feb. 1913, 72)
RUSSELL, MAN., public school, 1913 (Winnipeg Tribune, 25 Jan. 1913, 8)
WAINWRIGHT, ALTA., twenty residences for the South Wainwright Realty Co., 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 19 Feb. 1913, 74)