Samuel Maclure, Architect


164 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-920663-02-8




Reviewed by John Marston

John Marston was a federal civil servant in Ottawa.


Janet Bingham is the author of studies on heritage houses in Vancouver and is involved in several building preservation projects. She serves as a member of Vancouver’s Heritage Advisory Committee. A native of Vancouver, she has written a small jewel of a book about Samuel Maclure.

Bingham’s book is of special interest to British Columbians but also to Canadians generally. The energetic Maclure family were involved in surveying, brick-making, and newspaper publishing, all described in this book; but the principal thrust is Samuel Maclure’s design of lovely houses in Vancouver, New Westminster, Victoria, and elsewhere in B.C.

Maclure took established idioms such as Early Tudor, Queen Anne, Craftsmen, and Chalet and fashioned each house in his own way. Very much a West Coast person, he used native woods and craftsmanship with style and sensitivity. He was adept at arranging all the elements of the house and the surrounding landscape into one graceful design. Not content simply with house designs, Maclure also designed some larger buildings on the general lines of Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect, whom he admired.

Janet Bingham has pieced together the photos and other details in her book from building permits and records, where they existed, and from architectural sources. This was not an easy job because fire had destroyed Maclure’s office and his business records.

The book is full of excellent exterior and interior photographs of the houses Maclure designed and built. There are also architectural plans and details for everyone’s enjoyment. Heartily recommended; a treasure for your library.


Bingham, Janet, “Samuel Maclure, Architect,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 28, 2022,