- Donna McGee
(b Belfast, Nov 5, 1811; d Montreal, Nov 19, 1885).
Canadian architect of Irish origin. The son of an architect of the same name, he arrived in Quebec City in 1830. He established a practice there in 1831 and designed houses, including a Gothic Revival villa for the provincial secretary Dominick Daly (1798–1868), who may have been responsible for Browne’s appointment as Chief Architect for the Board of Works. He designed many public buildings in Kingston and Montreal; the former became capital of the Province of Canada in 1841, and Browne was commissioned to modify, add to and erect various government buildings. His masterpiece in Kingston is the City Hall (1843–4; then known as the Town Hall and Market Building), the commission he won in a competition held in 1841. The City Hall shows his characteristic massing of volumes and contrasting textures, using a varied vocabulary and a strong sculptural sense. Facing the waterfront, the main entrance to the T-shaped City Hall has a pediment supported by four columns, surmounted by a tall dome capped by a cupola. He was also responsible for many commercial and domestic commissions in Kingston, notably the houses known as St Andrew’s Manse for St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and Rockwood for ...