Basic Biographical Details

Name: Simon & Boddington
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1910
Ended: 1917
Bio Notes: Frank Lewis Worthington Simon was born on 31 March 1862 at Darmstadt, Germany, the son of David Worthington Simon DD MA PhD. He was educated at Tettenhall College, Wolverhampton and the King Edward VI Grammar School in Birmingham, and was articled to John Cotton in Birmingham in 1879. At the end of his apprenticeship, c.1882, he became an assistant to Jethro Anstice Cossins in the same city before joining the atelier of Jean Louis Pascal and enrolling c.1883 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he spent only one year and was a contemporary of Alexander Nisbet Paterson, John Keppie and Stewart Henbest Capper. After completing the course he spent about a year in Glasgow with Burnet Son & Campbell in 1886 and then a similar period with Wardrop & Anderson: according to his RIBA nomination paper he joined that firm just prior to George Washington Browne's departure. Throughout that period, from sometime before March 1885, Simon had his own studio at 8 York Place from which he made a fine series of drawings of old Edinburgh which formed the basis of his 'Etchings of Old Edinburgh'. He won the Tite Prize in 1887 and commenced independent practice in the following year at 34 St Andrew Square, his first significant commission being a fine house, Outwood, at 8 Mortonhall Road for his father, who had now become Principal Simon. He then formed a partnership with his fellow student at Pascal's, Stewart Henbest Capper, winning the competition for Hope Chapel, Wigan, in 1888.

In 1890 Simon came into prominence as the architect of the Edinburgh International Exhibition of that year, working in collaboration with the artist-architect William Allan Carter who also had his own studio at 5 St Andrew Square; in that same year Rowand Anderson and David MacGibbon persuaded thirty well-off individuals to subscribe 1,200 for the formation of the Edinburgh School of Applied Art at the Royal Institution. When classes commenced on 17 October 1892 Simon was its first professor with George Mackie Watson as first assistant, quickly joined by his brother John who had run the Edinburgh Architectural Association classes and by Capper, the last giving the School as a whole a marked Ecole des Beaux-Arts bias in its teaching. All owed their appointments to Anderson's patronage, the Watson brothers also being ex-assistants of Anderson's while Capper was an ex-assistant of his former partner George Washington Browne.

Simon moved his private practice to 36 Hanover Street late in 1891 or early 1892. The School of Applied Art was hugely successful in attracting students and later that same year 1892, pressure of work at the School - where the classes were from 8 to 10am - induced Simon to end his partnership with Capper and enter a short-lived partnership with Charles Edward Tweedie. Tweedie's provenance is not yet known but he had a one-year-old son suggesting an age of about thirty. The Simon & Tweedie partnership won the competition for Llanelly Town Hall in 1892 but lost the commission to the local architect William Griffiths. It had more success in Manchester where Simon had won the competition for the Macfadyen Memorial Church, an office being opened in Manchester to build it. The Simon & Tweedie partnership seems to have closed late in 1895 or early in 1896 and in 1897 Simon resigned his chair to concentrate wholly on his practice.

About 1898 Simon merged his practice with that of Alexander Hunter Crawford, born 1865 of the biscuit-making family; Crawford had been in practice in Edinburgh since 1891 following some years in London with R Selden Wornum and the LCC Architects Department, the new partnership of Simon & Crawford being based in Simon's office at 36 Hanover Street. In the following year, 1899, there was a further merger with Rowand Anderson's practice as Anderson, Simon & Crawford. While some clients saw Anderson's age and difficult temperament as a problem - he was then sixty-five - the catalyst may have been the competition for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901 for which they prepared an entry. This partnership also proved brief, being dissolved in 1902 as a result of a lawsuit. Simon and Craword then reverted to their previous partnership name, with an office at 10 Randolph Place, Simon's address then being 67 Great King Street.

Simon was admitted FRIBA on 9 June 1902 his proposers being Burnet, Cotton and Huon Arthur Matear of Liverpool, a pupil of James Francis Doyle. No previous connection between Matear and Simon is known and it may be that Matear was simply seeking a partner to help with the major commission for Holy Trinity Church, Southport, begun in 1903. Simon then closed his partnership with Crawford and moved to Liverpool where he and Matear won the competition for the giant Liverpool Exchange in 1905 and built Orleans House on Bixteth Street.

In 1910 Simon took into partnership Henry Boddington, born 1881 of the brewing family, apparently for the purpose of entering competitions. Educated at Oxford University, Boddington had been articled to Charles Heathcote & Sons in Manchester, attending Manchester School of Architecture 1904-07. In 1908 Boddington was an assistant with John Belcher from whose office he passed the qualifying exam in 1909. In the following year, 1910, the newly formed partnership entered the Edinburgh Usher Hall competition but were not successful. Two years later, in 1912, they won the competition for the Manitoba Parliament Building in Winnipeg. The Manitoba project proved slow to get off the ground and Simon formed yet another association, with Briggs Wolstenholme & Thornley, to design the Arts Building of Liverpool University in 1913. Initially Simon commuted between his Liverpool practice and his office at 261 Fort Street, Winnipeg, but by 1914 his English address was Dorset House, East Grinstead, Sussex.

On the Manitoba building Simon was assisted by Septimus Warwick. Warwick was born in 1881 and articled to Arthur Vernon, 1895-98 and was successively assistant to H Cowall Boyes, Charles Waymouth, William Alfred Pite, Robert Shekleton Balfour and R Frank Atkinson. In 1905 Warwick formed a partnership with Herbert Austen Hall and between that year and 1909 they had considerable success in competitions but by 1913 they had run out of work and the partnership was dissolved, enabling Simon to engage Warwick to work on the Manitoba Building. Warwick went out to Canada in 1913 and returned with Simon in 1920. He then recommenced practice on his own account.

Boddington was in permanent residence in Winnipeg with his sister from 1914 to look after the project and formed the partnership of Boddington Inman & Skelton, probably to acquire local experience and hopefully further commissions. There were however serious difficulties between both architects and the clients: The Government refused to allow Simon and Boddington to supervise the project, preferring to use their provincial architect. A Royal Commission inquiry in 1915 found that this had been to enable funds for the building to be diverted to party funds and vote-rigging and the Conservative Rublin government had to resign. Simon then became supervising architect and after Boddington enlisted in the Canadian army in 1917 he had to take up full-time residence in Winnipeg until the building was completed and dedicated in July 1920. Probably because of the expectations of the Canadian partners, and the involvement of Warwick who had previously had his own practice, the relationship between Simon and Boddington had not been an altogether happy one.

Simon returned home on completion of the project and did not practice independently again although he seems to have helped other practices from time to time. Boddington did not return to Canada after his release from war service, recommencing practice in London at 26 Old Burlington Street.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness19101914 
Item 2 of 2261, Fort Street, Winnipeg, CanadaBusiness1914 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Frank Lewis Worthington Simon19101917Partner 
Item 2 of 2Henry Boddington19101917Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 31910Usher Hall  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design
Item 2 of 31912Manitoba Parliament BuildingsEdmonton WinnipegCanadaWon competition and secured job; Septimus Warwick was recruited as site architect
Item 3 of 31916Railway ViaductBanff AlbertaCanada 

References

Currently, there are no references for this architectural practice. The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.