Basic Biographical Details

Name: Edwin Evan Smith
Born: 1870
Died: 1965
Bio Notes: Edwin Evan Smith was born in Montrose in 1870, the son of George Smith, and educated at Montrose Academy. He was articled to John Sim of Montrose in 1885 and passed the South Kensington examinations in building construction, free-hand drawing, perspective, geometry and modelling, but whether through local classes or in London is not stated. He emigrated to Queensland, Australia with his parents in 1889, taking the opportunity to make brief study tours in Italy and Sicily en route. There he worked first for George Henry Male Addison of Oakden, Addison & Kemp on the large Exhibition Building in Brisbane, and then for Charles McLay, assisting him with his designs for the Queensland Museum in 1890-91. When that project failed to materialise he was sent to open a branch office in Toowoomba, where he opened his own office in 1897. This seems not to have prospered as he obtained a position as temporary draughtsman with the Queensland Public Works Department on 24 October 1898, an appointment made permanent on 1 July 1899. This enabled him to marry Margaret Mackenzie Lindsay on 27 October 1900, their house in Stuckey Road being given the name Glenesk.

Smith's subsequent career was wholly a successful public service one, initially as assistant to Thomas Pye and John Smith Murdoch, his first independent project being the extension of the Government Printing Offices in Brisbane in 1910, for which he modelled the sculpture. He was then admitted LRIBA on 20 July 1911, his proposers being Alfred Herbert Foster, Alexander Brown Wilson and Robin Smith Dods. On 21 June 1912 he took up an appointment as architect with the Commonwealth Works Department in Sydney under Murdoch, returning to Brisbane in 1917 as Commonwealth State Works Director. In 1923 he was appointed State Government Architect for Victoria, and in 1929 State Government Architect for New South Wales, having been admitted FRIBA in August of the previous year.

Smith retired in 1935. Throughout his career he had been active, having been president of the Queensland Architectural Association and Honorary Secretary of the Queensland Architectural Society. He was also a painter and potter as well as an architect and sculptor, and was honorary secretary of the Queensland Art Society in 1906-11 and its President in 1919-21.

Smith died in 1965 at the age of 95. His daughter Treania became a founder of the Macquarie Galleries in Sydney.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Glenesk, Stuckey Road, Brisbane, AustraliaPrivate1911 *  
Item 2 of 215, Brook Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, AustraliaPrivate1928 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 8John Sim18851889Apprentice 
Item 2 of 8Oakden, Addison & Kempc. 1889c. 1890Assistant 
Item 3 of 8Charles McLayc. 18901897Assistant 
Item 4 of 8Queensland Public Works Department189821 June 1912Assistant 
Item 5 of 8Commonwealth Works Department21 June 19121917ArchitectIn Sydney, working under Murdoch
Item 6 of 8Commonwealth Works Department19171923 Commonwealth State Works Director - in Brisbane office
Item 7 of 8Victorian Department of Public Works19231929Chief ArchitectState Government Architect - in Melbourne office
Item 8 of 8William Neville Ashbee19291935Chief ArchitectState Government Architect


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4Robin Smith Dods (or Robert Smith Dods)20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 4Alfred Herbert Foster20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 4RIBA CouncilAugust 1928for Fellowship
Item 4 of 4Alexander Brown Wilson20 July 1911for Licentiateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1Watson, Donald and McKay, Judith1994Queensland Architects of the 19th Century Brisbane: Queensland Museump164

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v20 no1592; F no2617 (box 9)