Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Clark Mackenzie
Designation: Architect
Born: 6 November 1877
Died: 21 May 1941
Bio Notes: James Clark Mackenzie was born at West Kilbride, Ayrshire, on 6 November 1877 and was educated at Ardrossan Academy, Ayr Academy and Glasgow High School. He was articled to Alexander Nisbet Paterson in 1897 and spent three months in Italy at the end of his articles: he had probably taken the courses at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College although this has yet to be confirmed. In 1903 he commenced independent practice in Dumfries. He seems to have formed a brief partnership with Alan Burgess Crombie but in late 1907 he emigrated to Prince Rupert BC where his elder brother had already settled. In 1908 he moved to Vancouver to work as an assistant although it cannot have been with William Bow as stated by Luxton as Bow did not emigrate until January 1913.

Mackenzie commenced independent practice in Vancouver in 1909. His practice consisted mainly of new houses at Shaughnessy Heights but he was successful in obtaining the commission for the West Vancouver Municipal Hall in 1912. In that year he married an English-born nurse Amy Crabtree, and designed an American 'craftsman'-inspired house for himself at North Lonsdale. In 1913 he entered into a partnership with an A Scott Kerr, probably also a Glasgow Scot of whom nothing is yet known.

When commissions dried up in 1915, the partnership was dissolved and Kerr practised from home, designing teapots with Haida designs which were made in Japan and publishing a catalogue of house plans on the American model in absence of other business. This resulted in him becoming associated with the Architects' Small House Service Bureau, BC, which provided working drawings for thirty dollars.

In 1920 William Bow took Mackenzie into partnership but there were problems with Mackenzie's wife who was in the habit of leaving their three children at the office while she went shopping. The partnership was dissolved in 1923 when Bow received the offer of a partnership from the wealthy and extremely well-connected James Anderson Benzie, also a Glaswegian. Mackenzie thereafter practised on his own until his death on 21 May 1941.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate 1903 
Item 2 of 4Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, ScotlandBusiness1903  
Item 3 of 4Prince Rupert, British Columbia, CanadaPrivate/business1905 or 1906  
Item 4 of 4Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaPrivate/business1908  

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4Alexander Nisbet Paterson1897 Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Crombie & Mackenziec. 1905c. 1907Partner 
Item 3 of 4Mackenzie & Kerr1913 Partner 
Item 4 of 4Bow & Mackenzie1920 Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architect 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 1c. 1907Dumfries AcademyDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAdditions and lodge


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2  Accessed March 2014
Item 2 of 2Luxton, Donald (ed.)2003Building the West: the early architects of British Columbia Vancouver: Talon Books