Basic Biographical Details

Name: McCarter & Nairne
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1921
Ended: 1956
Bio Notes: George Colvill Nairne was born in Inverness on 14 November 1884, the son of David Nairne, sub-editor of the 'Northern Chronicle'. He was articled to the Inverness architect John Squair, taking classes at the local technical college, and at the end of his apprenticeship took a job in Cardiff. He emigrated in 1906 to New York where he found employment with Alexander Mackintosh, who had been born in London but trained and commenced his career in Scotland. In 1909 Nairne moved to Seattle to work for Blackwell & Baker and in 1911 to Vancouver as assistant to Thomas Hooper.

In 1913 Nairne entered into a partnership with John MacMillan in Nanaimo but it was dissolved because of the difficult economic conditions then prevailing early in the following year. The official title of their practice has not been established but is assumed to have been MacMillan & Nairne. After its dissolution Nairne spent 18 months with H H Johnson in Great Falls, Montana, in 1914-15, but then had to prospect for gold in Alaska and the Yukon until he enlisted in the Royal Canadian engineers in 1917.

After the war Nairne found work with the theatre architect B Marcus Priteca in Seattle until 1921 when he was taken into partnership by the well-established Vancouver architect John Young McCarter whom he had known in Hooper's office before the war. McCarter had good political, business and military contacts, and the practice flourished right up to the time of Nairne's retirement in 1951: their architecture was an impressive American modern of the Raymond Hood school.

Nairne died on 23 April 1953, his partner McCarter continuing the practice under its existing title of McCarter & Nairne until his own retirement in 1956. Thereafter it was continued by Ronald S Nairne (born 1923 and presumably George Colvill's son), William Leithead and other partners as McCarter Nairne & Partners.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaBusiness   

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 4George Colvill Nairne19211951Partner 
Item 2 of 4John Stormont Porter19211955AssistantLater partner
Item 3 of 4John Young McCarter19211956Partner 
Item 4 of 4Cedric John Mathison Young19251930 or 1931Assistant 

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 31928Marine BuildingVancouver British ColumbiaCanada 
Item 2 of 31928Medical-Dental BuildingVancouver British ColumbiaCanada 
Item 3 of 3Late 1920sVancouver Exhibition AssociationVancouver British ColumbiaCanada 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 2Luxton, Donald (ed.)2003Building the West: the early architects of British Columbia Vancouver: Talon Booksp276
Item 2 of The Canadian Encyclopedia website (Historica [sic] Foundation of Canada)