A Quest To Uncover the Architectural Legacy of William Palmer Witton

Mar 13, 7:00pm. Understanding Hamilton’s Architectural History: A Journey, Serendipity and a Quest To Uncover the Architectural Legacy of William Palmer Witton. A talk by Robert Hamilton. Free. Learn more about the legacy of William Palmer Witton, the prominent local architect who designed some of Hamilton's most iconic buildings, including the Royal Hotel on James St., the Herkimer Apartments and the Playhouse Cinema!

In this 60 minute visual presentation of the architectural careers of the Hamilton-based Stewart & Witton, The Playhouse will be placed in context with other theatre commissions around that time, as well as provide a survey of the extremely wide variety of architectural commissions undertaken by the firm.

Free with registration.


About Robert D. Hamilton, MLIS (1963 - )

A former Winnipeger, Robert moved to Hamilton in the Spring of 1992 after graduating from the University of Western Ontario's Master of Library and Information Science programme.

His volunteer efforts began almost immediately, researching the history of a prominent local building, the Herkimer Apartments, which were built in 1914-1915.  This research would later evolve into a comprehensive understanding of the late Hamilton based architect William Palmer Witton.  This would ultimately include the development of a bibliography of the nearly 500 Art & Architecture Books donated to McMaster University in 1948, a manuscript detailing over 500 architectural commissions by this architect and his associates, and a slide lecture.  This research has been broadened to encompass the careers of nearly 200 architects who lived and worked in Hamilton from the 1840's through to 1950.

Robert served on LACAC for several years prior to commencing his current position in 1996, as archivist and records manager for The Woodbridge Company Limited - the private holding company of the late Kenneth R. Thomson and his extended family.

Robert was actively involved with the Hamilton Region Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO for short) from 1996 - 2006, serving as Branch President, as well as, exhibition curator, and tour guide. The ACO was founded in 1933, and is one of the oldest continuously operated not-for-profits in the Province of Ontario.  One of the ACO's founders was the pre-eminent Beaux Arts architect, and a former Hamiltonian, the late John M. Lyle.

During 2004, Robert Co-Chaired the local organising committee of the first joint conference of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and Community Heritage Ontario - ACO-CHO "Advocating Adaptive Reuse creating a culture that values our heritage buildings, neighbourhoods and landscapes." The conference was attended by delegates from 60 communities across Ontario, and internationally.

2007-2016 member, and eventually chair, of the late City of Hamilton Historical Board.


Wed, Mar 13 2019 - 7:00pm

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