White, Murray Alexander

WHITE, Murray Alexander (1870-1935), a partner in the leading Toronto firm of Burke, Horwood & White, was born in Woodstock, Ont. on 5 August 1870, son of Alexander White. He served his articles with Langley & Burke (in 1889-93), who helped to cultivate his talent as a delineator and draftsman for which he received First Prize in the Toronto Architectural Sketch Club competition with 'A Staircase in Wood' (C.A.B., iv, July 1891, plate illus.). In 1893 he moved to Chicago and took a position as draftsman with Jennie & Mundie, early pioneers of the Chicago School and innovators in the development of the skyscraper form. White remained with that firm until 1896, then encouraged his brother Melville P. White to join him there. He claims to have 'practised architecture in Chicago' in 1896-99, but no works by him during this period have been found. From 1899 to 1907 he was a draftsman with the important Chicago firm of Holabird & Roche. With knowledge gained from a decade of experience of working with that firm, he returned to Toronto in 1907 and was invited by his mentor Edmund Burke to become a partner in the new firm of Burke, Horwood & White. His contribution to the firm included development of four Hudson's Bay Stores in western Canada, executed in a style directly influenced by the Chicago School. With the death of Burke in 1919 the firm of Horwood & White remained active until after 1930. White died in Toronto on 3 November 1935 (obit. Globe [Toronto], 4 November 1935, 14; Telegram [Toronto], 4 Nov. 1935, 13; inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects).


CALGARY, ALTA., City Hall, 1907. This Toronto architect, together in a team with Gordon M. West, was one of nine Canadian competitors for this major commission. Their plans were set aside and W.M. Dodd was declared the winner (Daily Herald [Calgary], 7 May 1907, 9, list of competitors).