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ELLIS, John

Born: 1874 06 10
Died: 1929 08 17

Architect


Was born in Stonehaven, Scotland and was articled to A Marshall Mackenzie in Aberdeen from 1890 to 1895, remaining as assistant for a further year. He commenced independent practice in Stonehaven in 1897 but almost immediately thereafter he emigrated to South Africa where he was listed working as an architect in Pretoria in partnership with Granger FLEMING, as FLEMING & ELLIS at Mortgage Buildings, Church Sq in 1899. According to local information, he was invited to come out to Pretoria by George Heys in order to build Heys' offices at Tudor Chambers, which he duly did design. It would appear that he completed his articles in 1896 and left for South Africa in 1897.

He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, his proposers being Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, George Sutherland and George Watt.

Ellis's obituary in the RIBA Journal states that he had built up a 'considerable practice in Pretoria' and had returned to Scotland during the Anglo-Boer War, beginning practice in Aberdeen where he remained until his death, mostly designing houses. Although, according this obituary, he had left Pretoria before 1902 and did not return, three buildings by him have been recorded which date after the war. He returned to South Africa about 1903 'on commission' and may have remained there until about 1908. The 'Stonehaven Journal' of 23 July 1908 reports that he had 'lately returned from Pretoria'. His name was listed in post-war Pretoria directories as late as 1909.

There is also a listing of this practitioner on the Dictionary of Scottish Architects.

(Cowie 1989; RIBA Jnl vol 36, 1928-9:300; SAAE&S Jnl Oct 1906:4; UTD 1909)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes


Crows Buildings: c1909. Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
Saxon Buildings: After 1897. Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
Store Bros bldg: 1906. Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
Tudor Chambers: 1904. Central, Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
Victoria Cottage Hospital: 1904. Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect

Books citing ELLIS

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 295, 297