Townley, Matheson and Partners

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Townley, Matheson and Partners

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Townley, Matheson and Partners (1919-1974) was a major Vancouver architectural firm throughout most of the 20th century. It produced designs for over 1100 discreet projects including numerous landmark buildings in the Vancouver, most notably Vancouver City Hall. The partnership was formed in 1919 by Fred L. Townley (1887-1966) and Robert T. Matheson (1887-1935). Townley was the son of former Vancouver Mayor T.O. Townley. Townley and Matheson were both raised in Vancouver, and received their architectural training at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating together in 1911. The majority of the work the partnership did in its initial years was private residences and small scale commercial projects. It was responsible for the design of many prominent Shaughnessy homes. It also produced designs for numerous stores and offices, including approximately 100 automobile service stations in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. The partnership achieved prominence in 1935 after it was awarded the contract to design Vancouver's new City Hall. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s the partnership designed fewer residences and increasing numbers of commercial buildings, including numerous grocery stores and movie theatres. From the 1950s onward hospital design formed the most sizeable component of the partnership's business; projects included Vancouver General Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Mission Memorial Hospital, and others in British Columbia, as well as Lethbridge Municipal Hospital in Alberta. The partnership existed under several names throughout its existence: Townley and Matheson (1919-1964), Townley, Matheson & Associates (1965), Townley & Matheson, Kelly, Humphrey & Ritchie (1966), Townley, Matheson & Partners (1967-1974). Allen C. Kelly (1908-2001) and Leonard A. Humphrey were former associates who became partners in 1964; it is likely that Ross B. Ritchie became a partner at about the same time. In 1969 the partnership merged with the practice of Alfredo J. Luz, but retained the name Townley, Matheson & Partners.


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