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Biographical Information

Name: William Emerson
Born on 3 December 1843
Deceased on 26 December 1924

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Participation in the following structures & large-scale projects:


Biography from Wikipedia

Sir William Emerson FRIBA (3 December 1843 – 26 December 1924) was a British architect, who was President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) from 1899 to 1902, and worked extensively in India. He was the original architect chosen to build Liverpool Cathedral.

Early life and education

He was born in 1843 the son of a silk manufacturer in Whitechapel, London, and educated at King's College, London. Around 1861 he was articled to William Gilbee Habershon, who soon thereafter entered into partnership with Alfred Robert Pite. Emerson subsequently became a pupil of William Burges.


He went to India in 1864, initially to supervise the building of Bombay school of art in Bombay to Burges’s plan, which in the event was never built. Instead he stayed on to practise architecture in Bombay, returning to London in 1869, where he opened an office in Westminster. He continued however to do his best work in India. His first big commission was for Mumbai's Gothic Crawford Market (1865–71) with a fountain executed by Rudyard Kipling's father, John Lockwood Kipling, who was also responsible for the bas-reliefs on the main entrance. Thereafter he moved to Allahabad where he designed his most important works, All Saints Cathedral, Allahabad (1869–93) and Muir College (1872-78). He then did two buildings for the princely Bhavnagar State, Nilambag Palace (1894–95) and the Takhatsinhji Hospital (1879–83), eventually he designed his most known building, the Victoria Memorial (1905–21) in Calcutta.

He was admitted ARIBA on 12 February 1866, his proposers being Burges, Coutts Stone and Henry Edward Kendall; and was elevated to FRIBA on 21 April 1873, his proposers being Stone, Thomas Hayter Lewis and Thomas Roger Smith. He was President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) from 1899 to 1902 and was knighted in the latter year.

Most of his later work was in India; his most familiar being the design of the marble clad Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta (1905 onwards), described as "Britain's answer to the Taj Mahal". Although asked to design a building in the Italian Renaissance style, Emerson was against the exclusive use of European styles and instead incorporated Mughal elements into the structure.

He died in Shanklin, Isle of Wight in 1924. He had married in 1872 Jenny, the daughter of Coutts Stone and sister of fellow architect Percy Stone.


  • 1869 - Crawford Market, Bombay (now Mumbai), India
  • 1870 - All Saints Cathedral, Allahabad, India
  • 1872 - Muir College, Allahabad
  • 1878 - St Mary the Virgin Church, Brighton, Sussex
  • 1879 - Takhatsinhji Hospital, Bhavnagar
  • 1894 - Nilambag Palace, Bhavnagar
  • 1896 - Clarence Memorial Wing St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London
  • 1905 - The Victoria Memorial, Calcutta (now Kolkata), India

His design for Liverpool cathedral won first prize in the first, abortive competition in 1883.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "William Emerson (British architect)" and modified on 02 August 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.

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