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

James Girvan

25 Sep 1999

One of the first questions that’s always asked, of course is “Why did you choose McGill?” And I think if I have to say, I didn’t really choose McGill because McGill chose me. And therein lies a...

Sydney Dumaresq

23 Sep 1999

Well, architecture was always in our family and I never really thought about doing anything else. All through school, whenever I had a project to do, I always turned it around somehow so I could...

Peter Terroux

1 Sep 1999

As a kid, I always liked sketching things. And curiously enough, when I did drawings as a kid, I always drew sections. I seldom drew elevations of things. I was sort of interested in the insides of...

Ian MacBurnie

3 Aug 1999

The reason I became an architect is one of the more difficult questions to try to answer because I don’t think I really consciously was aware of what an architect was. I think I had an idea but I...

Rene Menkes

2 Aug 1999

Why McGill. Well, the decision actually came about very naturally. I was very young and had always shown great interest in buildings. I used to spend a lot of time sketching buildings.

Louis Papineau

1 Aug 1999

Yeah. Well, I think I was lucky, and I’ll tell you why. It’s that I was quite young, thirteen, fourteen, when I started expressing, you know, desire for architecture to my parents.

Frederick (Tex) Dawson

23 Jul 1999

I guess you might say that it began- I’d been sketching and painting since I was a small, little guy and all the way through school. You might say it was a normal stretch to architecture. But when...

Jacques Dalibard

23 Jul 1999

I’m sort of curious how you decided to become an architect and why McGill.

Bruce Anderson

23 Jul 1999

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


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