Palliser, George

PALLISER, George (1848-1903) and his brother Charles Palliser (1853-c. 1910) maintained an office Bridgeport, Conn. and became one of the most influential firms in 19th C. North American architecture. Using the vehicle of inexpensive pattern books published in paperback editions, the firm of Palliser, Palliser & Co. produced nearly twenty books of plans between 1876 and 1908. Not merely content to offer mail order designs to customers, the firm invited clients to provide details of their lot size and orientation so that catalogue plans could be altered to suit the specific needs and desires of each building owner.
Invariably dressed in the most fashionable architectural styles of the period, including Queen Anne, Eastlake, or Shingle style, their domestic designs were followed and adapted to literally thousands of locations throughout the United States and Canada. In this country several specific sites and clients of the Palliser Co. have been identified in Ontario and Quebec, but many more remain to be documented.
George Palliser was born in England in 1848; his younger brother Charles was born at Sowerby, Engl. on 14 December 1853. Both emigrated to the United States in 1870 and opened an office as the Palliser Brothers in 1870 at Newark, N.J. They later moved to Bridgeport, Conn. and collaborated together until 1888 when Charles moved to Atlantic City and continued to practise there until 1912. George died at Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. on 3 April 1903 (obit. New York Times, 4 April 1903, 9; biog. in Who Was Who in America, iv, 1961-1968, 729). A full list of pattern books by Palliser, Palliser & Co. can be found in H.R. Hitchcock, American Architectural Books, 1976, 75-6.

SHERBROOKE, QUE., two houses for Samuel F. Morey, Commercial Street, 1882 (American Architect & Building News [Boston], xi, 24 June 1882, 304)
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C., Provincial Jail, 1884 (Palliser's American Architecture [New York], Vol. 1, No. 1, April 1884, 63-64, Plates 54, 55 and 56, illus.; B.C., Sessional Papers, 1885, Public Works Report for 1884, 253-4, descrip.)
VICTORIA, B.C., Provincial Jail, Topaz Road, 1885-86 (Palliser's American Architecture [New York], Vol. 1, No. 1, April 1884, 63-64, Plates 54, 55 and 56, illus.; inf. Donald Luxton, Vancouver)
TRENTON, ONT., 'Raven's Court', residence for S.S. Young, near Mount Pelion, 1884 (Toronto Daily Mail, 6 Nov. 1886, 13, illus.. & descrip.)
TRENTON, ONT., 'Fairview Villa', a residence for Patrick O'Rourke, 1886 (Toronto Daily Mail, 6 Nov. 1886, 11 & 13, illus.. & descrip.)


STRATFORD, ONT., High School, 1877. The firm of Palliser, Palliser & Co. of Bridgeport, Conn. were recorded as one of thirty-four firms from the United States and Canada who submitted competitive plans (Stratford Beacon, 5 Oct. 1877, 2). The Palliser entry likely resembled one of their designs later published in Palliser's Commonsense School Architecture, 1889.