Thomas Fuller (architect)

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Thomas Fuller
Thomas Fuller, Canadian architect.jpg
Fuller in 1889
BornMarch 8, 1823
DiedSeptember 28, 1898(1898-09-28) (aged 75)
PracticeThomas Fuller & Chilion Jones
Chief Dominion Architect

Thomas Fuller (March 8, 1823 – September 28, 1898) was a Canadian architect. From 1881 to 1896, he was Chief Dominion Architect for the Government of Canada, during which time he played a role in the design and construction of every major federal building.

Fuller was born in Bath, Somerset (England), where he trained as an architect. Living in Bath and London he did a number of projects. In 1845 he left for Antigua, where he spent two years working on a new cathedral before emigrating to Canada in 1857. Settling in Toronto, he formed a partnership with Chilion Jones with Fuller responsible for design work. The company first won the contract to design the church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields.

In 1859, The Legislative Assembly in Ottawa voted the sum of £75,000 for the erection of a "Parliament House" and offered a premium of $1000 for the best design within that budget. The winning bid was made by Fuller and Jones for a neo-gothic design. The principal architects until its completion in 1866 were Thomas Fuller and Charles Baillairge. In Hand Book to the Parliamentary and Departmental Buildings, Canada (1867), Joseph Bureau wrote, "The corner stone was laid with great ceremony by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in September, 1860, on which occasion the rejoicings partook of the nature of the place, the lumber arches and men being a novelty to most of its visitors, bullocks and sheep were roasted whole upon the government ground and all comers were feasted."

In 1867 he won the contract to build the New York State Capitol building in Albany, New York, and spent the next several years in the United States. The project ran into severe cost overruns, and an inquiry blamed Fuller. Fuller thus returned to Canada, and unable to work in the more lucrative private sector, in 1881 became Chief Dominion Architect, replacing Thomas Seaton Scott.

The Department of Public Works erected a number of small urban post offices in smaller urban centres during Thomas Fuller's term as Chief Architect.


Thomas Fuller's son, Thomas W. Fuller, was also appointed Chief Architect in 1927. Thomas W. Fuller's son, Thomas G. Fuller spent more than 50 years in the building industry.[1] In 2002, Thomas Fuller Construction Co. Limited (established 1958) was awarded the contract for the Library of Parliament building rehabilitation [2]


A 35 cent, 3 colour postage stamp featured an image of the Parliament Buildings and the text 'Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, 1880-1980, Thomas Fuller' [3]


Building Year Completed Builder Style Location Image
Anglican Mortuary Chapel in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Bathwick (now Smallcombe Cemetery)[4][5] 1855 Thomas Fuller with George Mann Bath, Somerset, England Smallcombe Cemetery - Mortuary Chapel.jpg
St. Stephen in-the-Fields Anglican Church, 1858 Thomas Fuller (architect) and Henry Langley Neo-Gothic style Kensington Market, Toronto, Ontario St Stephen in-the-Fields Anglican Church, Toronto.JPG
Canada's Parliament Buildings Centre Block - destroyed in fire 1916 1858 Thomas Fuller (architect) and Chilion Jones Neo-Gothic style Ottawa, Ontario Parliament section.jpg
post office National Historic Sites of Canada 1858 Thomas Fuller (architect) and Henry Langley Romanesque Revival architecture Almonte, Ontario Almonte post office.jpg
Victoria Tower 1866 Thomas Fuller Neo-Gothic style Ottawa, Ontario Original Canadian parliament.jpg
Royal Military College of Canada Administration Building, former Hospital, Building R55 [6] 1887 Thomas Fuller (architect) 1887 Kingston, Ontario Administration Building, former Hospital, Building R55 designed by Thomas Fuller (architect) (1887).jpg
Royal Military College of Canada Gatehouse 1, Building R2; recognized Federal Heritage Building 1994[7] 1884 Thomas Fuller Kingston, Ontario Gatehouse 1 Royal Military College of Canada.jpg
Royal Military College of Canada Gatehouse 2, Building R6;recognized Federal Heritage Building 1994 [8] 1884 Thomas Fuller Kingston, Ontario Gatehouse 2 Royal Military College of Canada.jpg
Old Post Office building; National Historic Sites of Canada 1886 Thomas Fuller (architect) Romanesque, Gothic and Second Empire styles Galt, Cambridge, Ontario Old Post Office Galt Cambridge Ontario cropped.jpg
Halifax Armoury 1858 Thomas Fuller (architect) Romanesque Revival architecture Cornwallis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia IMG 0471 HalifaxArmoury1.JPG
John Weir Foote Armoury 200 James Street North 1888–1908 Thomas Fuller (architect)/ David Ewart Neo-Gothic style Hamilton
43°15′42.76″N 79°51′58.42″W / 43.2618778°N 79.8662278°W / 43.2618778; -79.8662278 (John Weir Foote Armoury)
Exterior view of the John Weir Foote Armoury
Library of Parliament, 1858 Thomas Fuller (architect) and Henry Langley Victorian High Gothic style Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario Library at Parliament Hill.jpg
Langevin Block 1858 Thomas Fuller (architect) and Henry Langley Second Empire Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario Langevinblockottawa.jpg
Armouries Toronto 1858 Thomas Fuller (architect) and Henry Langley Neo-Gothic style Toronto, Ontario The Armouries Toronto.JPG
Gilbert H. Grosvenor Hall 1887 Thomas Fuller (architect) Romanesque Revival Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada Baddeck Cape Breton Post Office and Customs House.JPG
Former Brockville Post Office;[9] National Historic Sites of Canada 1886 Thomas Fuller (architect) Flemish, Queen Anne and classical elements;] Brockville
44°35′23.32″N 75°41′5.58″W / 44.5898111°N 75.6848833°W / 44.5898111; -75.6848833 (Former Brockville Post Office)
Brockville Fuller Bldg.JPG
Former Summerside Post Office [10][11] National Historic Sites of Canada 1887 Thomas Fuller (architect) Gothic and Romanesque elements; Summerside
46°23′36.04″N 63°47′26.32″W / 46.3933444°N 63.7906444°W / 46.3933444; -63.7906444 (Former Summerside Post Office)
Summerside Post Office ca 1905.jpg
Saint-Hyacinthe Post Office Girouard Street At St. Dominique Street; National Historic Sites of Canada 1892 Thomas Fuller (architect) Italianate and Romanesque Revival Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec QC StHyacinthe3 tango7174.jpg
Land Titles Building – Victoria Armoury 10523 - 100 Avenue 1893 Thomas Fuller (architect) Edmonton, Alberta Old Land Titles Building, Edmonton (corner).JPG
The Armouries
The Royal Westminster Regiment 530 Queen's Ave, New Westminster
1895 Thomas Fuller (architect) Italianate/Romanesque Revival style New Westminster, British Columbia North facing view.jpg

On his death in 1898, Thomas Fuller was interred in the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. His son Thomas Fuller II also became an architect.

Several of his buildings in Bath have been threatened with demolition and other works, such as his Bradford-on-Avon Town Hall, have been converted into other uses (the Town Hall is now the R.C. Church of St Thomas More).

In 2002, the Thomas Fuller Construction Company, founded by Fuller's grandson Thomas G. Fuller and now operated by his great grandsons, was awarded a contract to renovate the Library of Parliament in Ottawa which he originally designed.[12]


  1. ^ Thomas Fuller Construction Co. Limited
  2. ^ Ottawa : Government of Canada, 2002.
  3. ^ Credit: Library and Archives Canada; Copyright: Canada Post Corporation Archived 2013-01-16 at
  4. ^ Historic England. "Anglican Cemetery Chapel, St May's Churchyard, Bathwick Cemetery Road (1392521)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Anglican Cemetery Chapel, St Mary's Churchyard, Bath". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. ^ Thomas Fuller (architect)
  7. ^ "Royal Military College of Canada Building 2". Canada's Historic Places. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  8. ^ Gatehouse 2. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  9. ^ Former Brockville Post Office. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  10. ^ "Former Summerside Post Office". Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance of Canada. Parks Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  11. ^ Former Summerside Post Office. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Edited Hansard * Table of Contents * Number 138 (Official Version)". Retrieved 2012-10-21.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Seaton Scott
Chief Dominion Architect, Canada
1881 – 1896
Succeeded by
David Ewart