The following interviews with alumni of the School were undertaken between 1995 and 1999 to celebrate the 1996 centennial of the School, all but five of them conducted by Jim Donaldson (B.Arch. 1962); the other five interviews (Bland, Mayerovitch, Merrett, Richards and Wilson) were conducted by Harry Mayerovitch (B.Arch. 1933), David Covo (B.Arch. 1974), and Annmarie Adams (B.A. 1981).

The original VHS tapes were digitized and transcribed by student Maria Javornik (M.Arch. 2007), with the assistance of School media technician Carrie Henzie. The interviews - transcribed verbatim - were proofread by Derek Drummond (B.Arch. 1962). They were then corrected and formatted for the web by student Jessica Thatcher (M.Arch. 2010).

Acknowledgement and thanks go to Air Canada for providing air transportation that facilitated the taping of these interviews and to Armstrong that subsidized a portion of the costs associated with this venture.

The context of this interview is that the School of Architecture is preparing to celebrate its centennial this coming year. And in connection with that, it was felt that some recollections, some notions by those who participated in the early development of the school who were either students or professors there, that these notions would be well to have preserved so that, no doubt, in another hundred years, those future generations will benefit from our experience.
- Harry Mayerovitch, interviewing John Bland in 1995

Alumni Interviews

Guy Desbarats

23 Oct 2019

Well, becoming an architect was a funny thing. I started renovating our own house and neighbours’ houses in Beaurepaire near Sainte Anne de Bellevue when I guess I was about fourteen. And it was...

Bissera Anderson

21 Oct 2019

Well, I made a list of all the possible professions that I knew of and I thought about each one and listed the positive and negative aspects. And I came up with architecture and it seemed to be the...

Andrew Hoffmann

25 Jun 2019

Well, I was an architect first after I came to Montreal forty-three years ago. You might know my background. I was born in Transylvania, which is more notorious for other things than architecture!...

Witold Rybczynski

15 Dec 2010

I chose to become an architect when I was in my last year of high school at Loyola. I come from a long line of professionals, so it was taken for granted that I would go to university. I was...

John Schreiber

21 Apr 2002

Professor John Schreiber died peacefully on the 21st of February, 2002, at Taybarn, the home he built in Perth, Ontario. He was born and raised in Poland, but at the start of the Second World War...

Veerinder Dhami-Gill

23 Nov 1999

So I guess what we’d like to do here is how you decided to become an architect and why you chose McGill.

Robert Cook

23 Nov 1999

I guess the first thing we’d like to hear is why you decided to become an architect and why McGill.

Enrico De Pierro

23 Oct 1999

What I wanted to ask you, just talk a little bit about why you became an architect. What was the decision-making process there?...

George Challies

23 Oct 1999

Let’s talk about how you decided to make the big decision to become an architect.


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