1893 - Francis M. Rattenbury
Francis Mawson Rattenbury was born in Leeds, England in 1867. He articled with his uncle's architectural firm in England for five years and arrived in Vancouver in 1892. In less than a year, he had entered and won the competition for the design of the new B.C. Parliament Buildings. Just 25 years old, it was his first major commission.
Rattenbury envisioned a monumental structure that would reflect the current taste for both the classicism of Europe and the more rugged, pioneering institutional architecture of North America. The style of the Parliament Buildings has been described as a combination of free classical, renaissance and "Romanesque." Describing his plans at the time, Rattenbury spoke of highlighting the Legislative Chamber as the "leading motif of the whole design." As the symbol of parliamentary democracy in British Columbia, Rattenbury positioned the Legislative Chamber in the centre of the Parliament Buildings.
With the success of the Parliament Buildings, Rattenbury went on to design many well-known buildings in B.C. These include the Empress Hotel, the CPR Marine Terminal, and the Bank of Montreal building in Victoria, and courthouses in Nanaimo and Vancouver.