George Browne of Belfast Chosen as the Architect for City Hall

1842
George Browne of Belfast Chosen as the Architect for City HallPinterest
Principal Elevation (facing Ontario St.) from George Browne's City Hall Competition Plans. Source: Library and Archives Canada.
George Browne of Belfast Chosen as the Architect for City HallPinterest
Rear Elevation showing the entrance to the Shambles (facing King St.) from George Browne's City Hall Competition Plans. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

On Aug. 29, 1842, Coverdale & Cliff announced to council the three best plans for Kingston's city hall, which council examined and decided upon the following winners of the design competition: first prize of £50 to George Browne, second of £30 to John Howard and third of £20 to Alfred Brunell. John Howard (1803-90) is a well-known architect from Toronto. He emigrated from England to Canada in 1832. Brunell (1818-87) is best remembered locally as the architect of St. Mark's Church in Barriefield, in 1843. Browne's competition designs are transferred from the city to the Library & Archives of Canada in 1958.

George Browne is only 31 years old.

George Browne is selected on October 17, 1842 as the supervising architect for City Hall. This is a lucrative position -- better than being the prize winner. He will receive a maximum of 2.5 per cent of the project's cost for this work. Mayor John Counter needed Browne to provide the project plans Counter took to England on his fundraising trip. £15,000 had been approved for the project. Council authorized Mayor Counter to borrow £20,000 in London, England.