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FORSYTH, Alexander

Born: 1869
Died: 1963 02 24


Reg No: 177
Year registered: 1927

SASA CT (1902); Mem CIA Council (1907); CPIA (1927); ISAA (1927).

Was a senior partner in PARKER & FORSYTH, a leading Cape Town firm. He succeeded to the partnership together with John PARKER's son, John Kilgour PARKER, and the name of the firm became FORSYTH & PARKER. Forsyth was born in Clackmannan, Scotland and educated at the Dollar Academy in Alloa, Scotland. He was articled to Thornton, Shields & Thompson of Edinburgh in around 1884. Later (n.d.) he was sent to work in the Belfast office of this practice. His future wife, Agnes Page, who knew the Cape, advised him to emigrate to South Africa. Apparently he went first to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) but left to settle in South Africa around 1898. He was employed in Cape Town by John PARKER and was eventually admitted into partnership in 1901. The practice only assumed the style of PARKER & FORSYTH early in 1905 (cf PARKER & FORSYTH). Forsyth married in 1902. In 1907 he was elected a member of the Council of the Cape Institute of Architects. After Parker's death in 1921, Forsyth continued the practice under a changed style (cf FORSYTH & PARKER). According to OP LEWIS, Forsyth 'was austere, conservative and of mediocre business ability ... (he) possessed technical skills of high quality' (Arch SA Jul/Aug 1985:42-49). He retired in January 1946. In 1959 he is recorded as a retired member of the Cape Institute, of the address 'Gartmorn', Murray Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town.

(Afr Archt Jul 1911:35; Archt SA Jul/Aug 1985:42-49; Greig 1971; ISAA mem list; Picton-Seymour 1977; Rennie 1978b; Rennie 1983; SAA&B Mar 1905:122; SAWW 1908)

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.

Books citing FORSYTH

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880-1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

ISAA. 1959. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1958-1959 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1958-1959. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 90, 215

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp F10

Parker, Howard. 2015. John Parker, 1866-1921 : architect and mayor of Cape Town. Wellington, New Zealand: Howard Parker. pp 10, 25

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 15, 17

Walker, Michael. 2010. A Statement In Stone. Cape Town: Privately published by Michael Walker. pp 57-60

Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pp 76

Walker, Michael. 2010. Simon's Town : An historical review with early postcard illustrations. Cape Town: Michael Walker. pp 55