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Fonds F0023 - McCarter Nairne fonds

Identity area

Reference code



McCarter Nairne fonds


  • 1906-1981 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

ca. 32,000 drawings
ca. 210 items of display material
ca. 107 m of textual records

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

McCarter Nairne & Partners was a Vancouver-based architectural firm founded in 1921 by John Young McCarter (1886-1981) and George Colvil Nairne (1884-1953). McCarter was born in Victoria, BC and trained in the offices of Thomas Hooper (Victoria, Vancouver) before entering private practice in 1912. He served overseas during the First World War. In 1918, he married Ann Gordon and they had two children, Joan Chalmers and Jean Leslie. Nairne was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1884 and articled there before working in New York, Seattle, and finally, Vancouver. He also served overseas during World War I. The partnership began in 1921 and primarily designed houses and small apartment buildings. Within a few years they moved on to design two of Vancouver's first skyscrapers (the Marine Building and the Georgia Medical Dental Building). During the Second World War, the firm assumed the responsibility for federal wartime housing and urban development in British Columbia. After the war was over, the firm designed a wide variety of buildings, including factories, banks, and schools. The last project involving both partners above was the General Post Office (Vancouver), a one-square city block structure.

Archival history

Acquired by donation in 1980, 1983, and 1985.

McCarter Nairne & Partners

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of drawings, display material, correspondence, brochures, and office files from the architectural practice of McCarter Nairne & Partners, 1906-1953. Significant projects include: the Marine Building, Vancouver, BC; Georgia Medical Dental Building, Vancouver, BC; Canadian Services College Royal Roads, Vancouver Island, BC; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; Kelowna General Hospital, Kelowna, BC; General Post Office, Vancouver, BC.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Further accruals expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

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Notes area


Includes record nos: 71A/80.06, 84A/80.19, 160A/83.15, 161A/83.16, 213A/85.06


Title based on contents of fonds.

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Description control area

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