This site is dedicated to the life and work of Edwin Hubert Henderson, architect (1885-1939). Henderson was Chief Architect of the Commonwealth of Australia from 1929-1939.
“Australian Architecture: a history” by Davina Jackson (2022, Allen and Unwin) is an exciting new exploration of the full scope of Australin architectural history from pre-history to the present.
It is heartening to see EH Henderson receive some mention in Jackson’s 300 page plus survey.
In Chapter 6, ‘Architecture After Federation: 1901-1920’, Jackson takes time to acknowledge the role of government architects at both a national and state level, canvassing not only the work of John Smith Murdoch as Chief Architect of the Commonwealth, but also government architects in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania (pp173-175).
Chapter 7, ‘Interwar Interpretations: 1921-1945″ discusses the growth of Canberra buildings, both for institutions and domestic architecture. Appropriately, the author devotes a page to Old Parliament House and notes Smith Murdoch’s stripped classical style, including influences.
At page 184, Jackon notes:
Murdoch retired in 1929, after organising his Department’s move from Melbourne to Canberra. He was replaced by Sydney architect Edwin Hubert (Hendy) Henderson, who supervised the first National Library and Patents Office, new Canberra schools and fire stations, the Manuka swimming school and Commonwealth Bank branches in various towns. In 1939, Henderson suicided while under pressure from a government enquiry that later exonerated him. His senior architect, Cuthbert Whitely, took over as Chief Architect.Jackson page 183
Later, Jackson comments:
Some Commonwealth Buildings in Canberra were designed in the functionalist style by Hendy Henderson, Cuthbert Whitely, Malcolm Moir with Heather Sutherland, and Kenneth Oliphant.Jackon page 204
There are a number of interesting (and refreshing) points made Jackson in respect to Henderson:
I commend this general history to readers and congratulate the author on giving Henderson his due.