Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia

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Donald Luxton
Talonbooks, 2003 - Architecture - 560 pages
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Printed in two colours throughout and richly illustrated with over 600 photographs and duotones of these architects' most important works,

Building the West

tells the stories, discovers the hopes and aspirations, and celebrates the successes and accomplishments of the early architects of British Columbia as it illustrates their lives and careers, many of which extended along the North American west coast from California to Alaska. Starting before the first flood of colonists in the gold rush of 1858, it follows the lives of almost 400 individuals first drawn here by the opportunities of frontier settlement and encompasses the broad sweep of British Columbia's history. Their individual accomplishments were remarkable, given the difficult conditions they often faced.

As most of these architects had their roots in other countries, this project required over ten years of intensive research to unravel their many mysteries. Including the work of over fifty-seven contributors, project directors Donald Luxton and Stuart Stark were able to solicit substantial contributions from heritage researchers as far away as Scotland, England, New Zealand and the United States of America, as well as from sources all over Canada.

Building the West

is intended for a general readership and is of wide interest as a definitive and biographical reference source.

Building the West

has won numerous awards, including: Heritage Canada Achievement Award (2003), the 2004 City of Vancouver Heritage Award of Honour, BC Book Prize, the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize (2004), Architectural Institute of British Columbia Special Jury Prize (2004) and the Canadian Association of Professional Heritage Consultants Award of Honour (2004).

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About the author (2003)

Award-winning heritage consultant, author and editor Donald Luxton is a founding director of the Heritage Vancouver Society, the Victoria Heritage Foundation and the Canadian Art Deco Society. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Heritage Conservation Foundation. Luxton has been practicing in the field of heritage conservation since 1983. His heritage consulting firm, Donald Luxton & Associates, has carried out numerous municipal planning projects, heritage inventories and the restoration of public buildings throughout British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon. Luxton has also been active in the field of public education through the teaching of heritage conservation courses for both general interest and university credit. He teaches in the School of Construction and the Environment at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

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