"But in fact, who was Walter..." History/Location Tip by Ronald_T

History/Location, Canberra: 9 reviews and 10 photos

 
 

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<p><font face='Times New Roman' size='4'>But in fact, who was <b>Walter Burley Griffin</b>? A question I ask myself and after a long search I want to share my findings. <b>Walter Burley Griffin</b> (<font color='#0000FF'>see picture</font>) was born on <b>November 24, 1876</b> in <b>Maywood</b>, <b>Illinois</b>. Already in high school, Griffin showed his interest in landscape gardening. The family had moved to a new house in the <b>Chicago</b> suburb of <b>Elmhurst</b> and Griffin was involved in landscaping the backyard. His parents let him do what he wanted and before long his brother and sisters were calling it 'The Jungle' because he was experimenting with so many different forms of plants. In <b>1895</b>, Griffin enrolled in the <b>Department of Architecture</b> at <b>University of Illinois</b>. In <b>1899</b>, Griffin graduated in Architecture. He returned to Chicago where he quickly found a job as a draftsman working with Chicago's most progressive architects. From <b>1899</b> to <b>1914</b>, Griffin created more than <b>130 designs</b> in his Chicago office for buildings, urban plans and landscapes, half of which were built in <b>Illinois</b>, <b>Iowa</b>, <b>Michigan</b> and <b>Wisconsin</b>. In <b>1912</b>, Griffin won the Canberra Commission for the design of the <b>Federal Capital of Australia</b>. Griffin arrived in <b>Canberra</b> on <b>October 1913</b> as <b>Federal Director of Design and Construction</b> - development of the city was ready to begin. Dominating Griffin's plan was a central artificial lake and a '<b>parliamentary triangle</b>' in which the most important national buildings were to be placed. The surrounding residential areas had a geometric street pattern, circular and radial in shape, all fitting well into the general topography. Griffin continued to practise as an architect in Australia and design also the <b>Newman College</b> at the <b>University of Melbourne</b>, the <b>Capitol Theatre</b> and some houses. By <b>1935</b>, Griffin was reduced to designing municipal incinerators and he left Australia to take up an architectural appointment in
<b>India</b>. He died there in <b>1937</b> at the age of <b>60</b>.</font></p>
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  • Written Sep 12, 2002
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