Maurice B. Adams (1849-1933)

After completing his articles with H.N. Goulty of Brighton, Maurice B. Adams became assistant to William Ralph Emerson, and Architect to Brighton Council. Between 1872 and 1923 he was Editor of Building News. He instituted the Building News Designing Club, which enabled young architects to submit designs for his criticism. He contributed largely to the paper’s illustrations, redrawing designs for lithographic reproduction, and covered a wide range of subjects in a skilful and accurate linear style. He also published several architectural books. Through the owner of Building News he obtained his major architectural commissions, notably Camberwell Polytechnic and Art Gallery (1902). He also designed country houses near London, for example Queensmead Cottage, Kings Road, Windsor, Berks (1883), for Reginald Talbot, as well as in Australia (e.g. Bellevue Hill, Double Bay, for Charles B. Fairfax in the mid-1880s) and America, where he designed timber houses in New Jersey for E.S. Wilde in c. 1890. By 1878 he had settled in Bedford Park, the pioneering London garden suburb, which he helped to publicize. There he completed Richard Norman Shaw’s church of St Michael and All Angels, adding the north aisle and parish hall (1887), and the chapel of All Souls (1909). He also designed the School of Art in 1882 (destr.) and two houses with a studio for the artist J.C. Dollmann (1851-1934) in 1880. Adams was a practical planner and his style varied from domestic Queen Anne to a cheerfully inventive Jacobean eclecticism.