Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Howard Dennison Chapman, RIP

I read the sad news in yesterday's Globe and Mail that architect Howard Dennison Chapman died. He was 96.

Chapman was the son of Alfred H. Chapman, the Toronto architect behind the Royal Ontario Museum's entrance on Queen's Park, the Princes Gates at the Canadian National Exhibition, the Toronto Hydro Building and others.

Chapman pere also built Toronto's first Central Reference Library, which Chapman fils restored (with partner Howard Walker) and turned into the Koffler Student Centre of the University of Toronto (which houses the university book store).

Alfred Chapman left no information (that I could find anyway) about who the bearded figure is on the building, and Howard was unable to answer the question when I spoke to him in 2005 while researching Faces on Places: A Grotesque Tour of Toronto.

Among his other works was the "half-round" Riverdale Hospital (with Len Hurst), which was demolished in 2013 after years of opposition.

A web exhibit of some of his work by the City of Toronto archives is still online.

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