Spurgin, Karl Branwhite

SPURGIN, Karl Branwhite (1877-1936) was born in Maryport, Cumberland, Engl. on 17 April 1877 and entered the office of J. Walton Taylor, FRIBA at Newcastle-on-Tyne in May 1894 to serve a five year apprenticeship. He worked briefly for L.H. Armour, a civil engineeer at Gateshead-on-Tyne, then joined the British Army in 1899 and served in South Africa during the Boer War. After returning to England he rejoined Armour, then commenced his own architectural practice in Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1903. In 1905 he received a bronze medal for his design of a pair of houses erected at the new garden city development of Walker-on-Tyne. In December 1908. Spurgin emigrated to Canada and settled at Victoria, B.C. where he obtained a position as draftsman and as outside superintendent with H.S. Griffith. In early 1912 he opened his own office in Victoria and in 1913 formed a partnership with Edmund C. Wilkins. In June 1915 he left Victoria and joined Canadian Expeditionary Forces overseas where he served in France, Belgium and Germany during WWI.

After returning to Victoria in 1919 he practiced under his own name and, when required, he associated himself with other Victoria architects including P.L. James and J.G. Johnson. In late 1928 he established a formal partnership with Dutch-born architect William J. Semeyn, but this arrangement was short-lived and by 1931 Spurgin was again working alone or in collaboration with others. He died in Victoria on 27 November 1936 (obit. Victoria Daily Times, 28 Nov. 1936, 15; Daily Colonist [Victoria], 28 Nov. 1936, 1 & 8; R.A.I.C. Journal, xiv, Jan. 1937, 18; biog. and list of works in Contract Record [Toronto], xlii, 28 Nov. 1928, 1249; inf. Architectural Inst. of British Columbia; R.I.B.A., Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2001, ii, 677-8; D. Luxton, Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia, 2003, 392-3, 519).

K.B. SPURGIN

NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE, ENGL., St. Monica's Anglican Church, Wingrove Road, parish hall and Sunday School, 1905 (Builder [London], lxxx, 24 June 1905, 688, descrip.; Building News [London], xci, 3 Aug. 1906, 147, descrip.; 166, plate illus.)
NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE, ENGL., villa for Thomas Todd, Grainger Park Road, 1905-06 (Building News [London], xc, 23 Feb. 1906, 277, descrip. & plate illus.)
CRAMLINGTON-ON-TYNE, ENGL., public schools for the County Council, c. 1905 (inf. R.I.B.A.)
HEXHAM-ON-TYNE, ENGL., Presbyterian Church and Sunday School, c. 1905 (inf. R.I.B.A.)
SUNNISIDE, ENGL., Primitive Methodist Church, near Whickham, c. 1905 (inf. R.I.B.A.)
WALKER-ON-TYNE, ENGL., fifteen pairs of cottages, c. 1905 (inf. R.I.B.A.)

SPURGIN & WILKINS

(works in Victoria unless noted)

OAK BAY, residence for K.B. Spurgin, architect, Island Road, 1912 (S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 64, illus.)
HOLLYWOOD SCHOOL (later Margaret Jenkins School), Fairfield Road, a commission won in a competition, 1913-14 (Victoria Daily Times, 27 Aug. 1913, 18; 23 Oct. 1913, 11, illus.; Pacific Coast Architect [San Francisco], vii, March 1914; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 4, 2009, 169-70, illus. & descrip.)

K.B. SPURGIN

HOLDEN BUILDING, Fort Street near Quadra Street, c. 1920 (dwgs. BCPA, SPU A.P. 1)
SAANICH, B.C., residence for Hector Cowper, 1920 (Donald Luxton & Jennifer Barr, Saanich Heritage Structures, 2008, 189, illus. & descrip.)
(with Richard G.L. Rice) SAANICH, B.C., Saanich War Memorial Health Centre, Glanford Avenue at West Saanich Road, 1920 (Victoria Daily Times, 9 July 1920, 18; 12 Aug. 1920, 6, illus. & descrip.; Donald Luxton & Jennifer Barr, Saanich Heritage Structures, 2008, 119, illus. & descrip.)
QUADRA PRIMARY SCHOOL, Quadra Street near Kings Road, 1920-21 (Victoria Daily Times, 8 Sept. 1920, 18, t.c.; Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2021, 88, illus. & descript.)
WW1 WAR MEMORIAL, a proposal for an outdoor Memorial, with granite column, for a site at Beacon Hill Park, 1920, but not built (Victoria Daily Times, 11 Dec. 1920, 27, illus. & descrip.)
SIDNEY ROOFING & PAPER CO., Songhees Road, addition of a saturator plant, 1921; cardboard box plant, 1927; large pulpwood plant, 1927; addition of auto garage for 4 cars, 1928; all demol. (Victoria Daily Times, 12 May 1921, 9, descrip.; and 8 Jan. 1927, 1 & 2, descrip;)
(with P.L. James) ROYAL JUBILEE HOSPITAL, Fort Street at Davie Street, addition of the East Wing, 1921; demol. (Victoria Daily Times, 14 May 1921, 1 & 8, descrip.; list of works in C.R., xli, 28 Nov. 1928, 1249)
OAK BAY, residence for George A. Melville, Lansdowne Road at Uplands Road, 1921 (Victoria Daily Times, 25 June 1921, 1)
OAK BAY, residence for Robert Smith, Transit Road, 1921 (S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 68, illus.)
OAK BAY, War Memorial Tablet & Plaque, inside the entry hall of Monterey Public School, Monterey Avenue, 1921 (Victoria Daily Times, 12 Nov. 1921, 11, illus. & descrip.)
OAK BAY, clubhouse for Uplands Golf Club, Cadboro Bay Road, 1921-22 (Victoria Daily Times, 22 Oct. 1921, 15, descrip.; and 22 April 1922, 1; C.R., xxxvi, 9 Aug. 1922, 793, illus. & descrip.; Calgary Herald, 2 Sept. 1922, 17, descrip.; inf. Robert Hamilton, of Hamilton, Ont.)
BRENTWOOD BAY, CENTRAL SAANICH, B.C., conversion of the old Brentwood Hotel into a new private school called Brentwood College, 1923-24, with new dormitory, classrooms, chemical lab, library and chapel buildings (Victoria Daily Times, 9 Jan. 1923, 1 & 2, descrip.; and 11 Feb. 1924, 2; and 12 July 1924, 1)
OAK BAY, residence for Ernest H. Wilson, Cadboro Bay Road near Beach Drive, in Uplands, 1923 (Victoria Daily Times, 22 July 1922, 4)
TRANSIT ROAD, near Beach Drive, residence for Margaret Voogt, 1923 (Victoria Daily Times, 22 July 1922, 4)
LANGFORD, B.C., Anglican Church, 1923 (Victoria Daily Times, 17 Nov. 1923, 9, descrip.; dwgs. Anglican Diocese Archives, Victoria, PDP 80)
FAIRFIELD UNITED CHURCH, Moss Street at Fairfield Road, 1926; demol. 2020 (Victoria Daily Times, 15 March 1926, 1 & 2)
OAK BAY, a large Assembly Hall at Monterey Public School, Monterey Avenue near Tinto Street, 1926-27 (Victoria Daily Times, 15 March 1926, 2; and 29 Jan. 1927, 1)
OAK BAY, residence at Uplands for Capt. Harold C. Saunders, Terrace Road at Midland Road, 1926 (Victoria Daily Times, 27 March 1926, 1)
OAK BAY, residence for Elizabeth S.M. Melville, Midland Road near Durham Street, 1926 (Victoria Daily Times, 27 March 1926, 1)
OAK BAY, residence for John A. Turner, Lansdowne Road near Weald Street, 1926 (Victoria Daily Times, 27 March 1926, 1)
HINDU TEMPLE, Topaz Avenue at Blackwood Street, c. 1926 (list of works in C.R., xli, 28 Nov. 1928, 1249)
OAK BAY, residence for Charles B. Charlewood, Orchard Avenue, 1927 (Victoria Daily Times, 12 March 1927, 1; S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 55, illus.)
OAK BAY, residence for Lt. Col. George A. Phillips, Beach Drive at Thorpe Place, in Uplands, facing Cadboro Bay waterfront, 1927 (Victoria Daily Times, 12 March 1927, 1)
SIDNEY ROOFING CO., a large pulpwood factory on the site of the former Harbour Marine shipyards, 1927 (Victoria Daily Times, 8 Jan. 1927, 1 & 8, descrip.; C.R., xli, 19 Jan. 1927, 52)
ESQUIMALT, Yarrows Ship Building Co. Ltd., Esquimalt Harbour near Admiral's Road, new administration building, with offices and vaults, 1927 (Victoria Daily Times, 12 March 1927, 8, illus. & descrip.)
(with J.G. Johnson) OAK BAY, Patio Court Houses, a group of five houses for Charles Walkden of Chicago, Prospect Place, [San Carlos Avenue], 1927 (Victoria Daily Times, 28 April 1927, 4, descrip.; S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 35, illus.; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 166, illus.)
OAK BAY, residence for Capt. Laurence Adamson, Beach Drive, 1928 (Victoria Daily Times, 2 March 1928, 3; S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 31, illus.; M. Segger & D. Franklin, Exploring Victoria's Architecture, 1996, 167, illus.)
SAANICH, B.C., residence on Seaview Road, Ten Mile Point. for an unnamed client, 1928 (Victoria Daily Times, 2 March 1928, 3)
OAK BAY, residence for Maud M. Colgate, Oliver Street, 1928 (Victoria Daily Times, 10 March 1928, 4)
OAK BAY, residence for Patrick J. Sinnott, Newport Avenue at Margate Avenue, 1928 (Victoria Daily Times, 9 June 1928, Section Two, p. 15)
ST MARGARET'S SCHOOL, Fort Street, major addition of dormitories and a classroom, 1928 (Victoria Daily Times, 4 Aug. 1928, 15)
SIDNEY ROOFING CO., Johnson Street, major addition to warehouse, 1928 (Victoria Daily Times, 19 Oct. 1928, 11)

SPURGIN & SEMEYN

SAANICH, B.C., residence for the architect Karl Spurgin, Waterloo Road at Richmond Road, 1928 (Victoria Daily Times, 3 May 1930, 16, illus. & descrip.; Parks Canada, Canada's Historic Places, Heritage Designation, 22 Oct. 2004; Donald Luxton & Jennifer Barr, Saanich Heritage Structures, 2008, 175, illus. & descrip.)
ST. MATTHAIS ANGLICAN CHURCH, Richmond Avenue at Lillian Street, parish hall, 1928 (dwgs. Anglican Diocese Archives, Victoria, PDP 23)
CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH, Pandora Avenue at Amelia Street, 1929 (Const., xxii, Jan. 1929, 30)
GOOCH ISLAND, near Sidney, B.C., residence for Clarence Barker and G. Draper, 1929 (C.R., xliii, 14 Aug. 1929, 70)
OAK BAY HIGH SCHOOL, Cranmore Road at Cadboro Bay Road, 1929 (C.R., xliii, 6 Feb. 1929, 54)
OAK BAY, residence for Alfred C. Jackson, of Vancouver, Newport Avenue, 1929-30 (Victoria Daily Times, 9 Nov. 1929, 2)
OAK BAY, residence for William S. Campbell, Newport Avenue, 1929-30 (Victoria Daily Times, 9 Nov. 1929, 2)
OAK BAY, residence for H.G. Pierce, Beach Drive "....opposite the Boathouse", 1929-30 (Victoria Daily Times, 9 Nov. 1929, 2)
TEN MILE POINT, residence for an unnamed client, Seaview Road, 1929-30 (Victoria Daily Times, 9 Nov. 1929, 2)
OAK BAY, residence on Beach Drive for an unidentified owner, 1929-30 (Victoria Daily Times, 21 June 1930, 10, illus. & descrip.)
CARMICHAEL SILVERSMITHS CO., Fort Street, a pair of shops with apartments above, 1929-30 (Victoria Heritage Foundation, This Old House: Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Vol. 3, 2021, 66, illus. & descript.)

K.B. SPURGIN

(with J.G. Johnson) OAK BAY, commercial block of five stores and apartments, Newport Avenue at Windsor Street, 1932 (S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 54, illus.)
QUALICUM BEACH, B.C., a private Boy's School for I. Knight, 1934-35 (Nanaimo Free Press, 20 Sept. 1934, 3, descrip.; 19 Nov. 1934, 2)
COWICHAN STATION, new buildings at the Fairbridge Farm School, Koksilah Road, including extensive remodelling of "Pemberton" into a guest house, and 4 new residential cottages for children, 1935 (Victoria Daily Times, 29 March 1935, 15; 4 April 1935, 14, t.c.; 9 May 1935, 2, descrip.; list of works in obituary, Victoria Daily Times, 28 Nov. 1936, 15)
(with Hubert Savage) ESQUIMALT, Royal Canadian Navy Drill Hall & Administration Building at the Naval Barracks, 1935 (C.R., xlix, 14 Aug. 1935, 723; Building in Canada, xviii, Autumn 1938, 19, illus.)

COMPETITIONS

VICTORIA, B.C., Hollywood Public School, 1913. Spurgin was one of 13 architects who submitted designs in this competition, and he received First Premium for his effort (Victoria Daily Times, 27 Aug. 1913, 8). The second prize was awarded to Arthur Beale of Fleet & Beale, Architects.
OAK BAY, B.C., Oak Bay Municipal Park, at the terminus of the Oak Bay branch of the B.C. Electric Railway, 1923. Spurgin received Second Premium for his design of this large public park (Victoria Daily Times, 1 May 1923, 4). The winner was Harvey & O'Farrell of Victoria.