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British Industrial History

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Thomas Edward Collcutt

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Thomas Edward Collcutt (1840-1924) was an architect who designed several important buildings in London including the Savoy Hotel, Lloyd's Register of Shipping and the Palace Theatre.

1840 March 16th. Born in Oxford the son of James Collcutt, a servant at St John's College, and his wife, Emma, née Blake.

Attended the Oxford Diocesan School.

Apprenticed to the London architect R. E. Armstrong, and then employed by the partnership Miles and Murgatroyd.

Began working in the establishment of George Edmund Street, with Richard Norman Shaw, before setting up his own practice in 1873 and achieving recognition, winning the Wakefield Town Hall competition in 1877, the Grand Prix for Architecture at the Paris International Exposition in 1889, and the Royal Gold Medal in 1902.

His most important building in London was the Imperial Institute (1887–93), of which only the central tower remains, now part of Imperial College.

1899 Collcutt designed the Lloyd's Register of Shipping Building in London, extensively decorated with allegorical sculpture by George Frampton and a major landmark of the New Sculpture movement.

For Richard D'Oyly Carte, Collcutt designed the Savoy Hotel, which has been subsequently altered, and the Palace Theatre, London (1889) in Cambridge Circus, Charing Cross Road, which was built as the Royal English Opera House.

Designed the Bechstein piano showrooms at 40 Wigmore Street (1889) and the Wigmore Hall (1901). The Palace Theatre and the Wigmore Hall remain essentially in their original forms. Both have strong pale buff terracotta ornamentation, characteristic of Collcutt's work.

Both as president of the RIBA (1906–1908), and later, the causes he promoted included a scheme to move Charing Cross railway terminus to the south bank of the Thames, and another to improve housing conditions for the working classes by replacing slums with towers of flats eight or ten storeys high.

1924 October 7th. Died in Southampton at the age of 84

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