Talent, pride and tragedy
The life of Francis Mawson Rattenbury reads like fiction. An architect whose
work defined the Victoria skyline, he left a legacy of great public buildings in the capital city of British Columbia. He won his first prestigious commission
there — the Parliament Buildings — at the age of 25 and then began a 30-year
cycle of creativity.
Brilliant and ambitious, Rattenbury conceived the emerging city as a single
integrated design. His public and corporate buildings work as grand visual statements. His reign as British Columbia’s most exalted architect ended
with a return to England in 1929, where his career collapsed in the shadow
of marital scandal, financial ruin and, finally, death by murder.
I suppose you got the sketches for the proposed Hotel at Victoria.
It is going to be a whopper if it goes on, and I think it will go on alright.
It will make a decided attraction to Victoria, as we really have wanted
a first-class hotel.
Francis Rattenbury letter to his mother, 1903