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Malcomson and Higginbotham

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Malcomson and Higginbotham was an architectural firm started in the nineteenth century and based in Detroit, Michigan. A successor firm, Malcomson-Greimel and Associates, still exists in Rochester, Michigan as of 2010.



Architects William G. Malcomson and William E. Higginbotham formed a partnership in 1890.

The firm was retained by the Detroit Board of Education in 1895, and between 1895 and 1923 had designed over 75% of the school buildings in Detroit. The firm remained in business under various names until the present.

William G. Malcomson

William George Malcomson was born in 1856 in Hamilton, Ontario. He began his architectural career early, and in 1875 supervised the construction of the Henry Langley-designed Erie Street United Church in Ridgetown, Ontario. In 1882, Malcomson married Jessie E. McKinlay; the couple had five children. William G. Malcomson died in 1937.

William E. Higginbotham

William E. Higginbotham was born in 1858 in Detroit. He was educated in the Detroit public schools, and at the age of 19 joined the architectural form of J. V. Smith. He married Nettie M. Morphy in 1892; the couple had two children: a daughter, Doris Higginbotham (born 26 February 1893, Detroit; died 3 July 1983, Lafayette, LA) and a son, Bruce Field Higginbotham (born 1895, Detroit; died 1939, Atlanta, GA). William E. Higginbotham died in 1922.

Other principals and architects

  • Malcomson and Higginbotham began as a partnership between William G. Malcomson and William E. Higginbotham.
  • Around 1907, the firm changed its name to "Malcomson, Higginbotham and Clement" with the addition of Hugh B. Clement as a partner. Clement soon left, and the name reverted to "Malcomson and Higginbotam".
  • Wirt C. Rowland joined the firm, though not as a partner, in 1912 and stayed until 1915 when he rejoined Albert Kahn.
  • C. William Palmer became a partner in 1920 and the firm became known as "Malcomson, Higginbotham and Palmer", reverting again to "Malcomson and Higginbotham" upon Palmer's departure in 1924, despite Higginbotham's death in 1922.
  • In 1925, Alexander L. Trout became a partner, and the firm once more changed its name to "Malcomson and Higginbotham and Trout" until 1935, when Trout left.
  • The firm finally dropped Higginbotham's name after Malcomson's death in 1937 with the addition of Ralph R. Calder, and Maurice E. Hammond, becoming "Malcomson, Calder, and Hammond"; they remained under that name until 1945, when Ralph R. Calder resigned to establish his eponymous firm, which remains in business.
  • In 1945, Homer A. Fowler became a partner, and the firm name was changed to "Malcomson, Fowler, and Hammond". until 1958 at least.
  • In the 1960s, the firm merged with that of Karl H. Greimel to become "Greimel, Malcomson and Hammond". Karl Greimel was the dean of Lawrence Technological University's School of Architecture from 1974 - 1991.
  • The firm was later known as "Greimel, Malcomson, and James".
  • Finally, the firm was called, "Malcomson-Greimel and Associates" the form which exists as of 2010.
  • List of structures designed by Malcomson and Higginbotham

    All buildings are located in Detroit, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church, 1883
  • Hook and Ladder House No. 5-Detroit Fire Department Repair Shop, 1888
  • Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, 1891 (addition)
  • Old Main (Wayne State University), 1895
  • Mackenzie House, 1895
  • George P. MacNichol House, Wyandotte, Michigan, 1896
  • Verona Apartments, 1896
  • James A. Garfield School, 1896
  • Starkweather Hall (Eastern Michigan University), Ypsilanti, Michigan, 1896
  • Ford-Bacon House, Wyandotte, Michigan, 1897
  • Arthur M. Parker House, 1901
  • Henry S. Frieze Building (University of Michigan), Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1905
  • Henry Ford House, 1907
  • Jefferson Intermediate School, 1922
  • Nellie Leland School, 1918
  • Cass Technical High School, 1922 (demolished, 2011)
  • Flint Central High School, Flint, Michigan, 1923
  • Ann Arbor Elementary School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1929
  • Mosher-Jordan Hall (University of Michigan), Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1930
  • University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, 1931
  • Mary Mayo Hall (Michigan State University), East Lansing, Michigan, 1931
  • Sarah Langdon Williams Hall (Michigan State University), East Lansing, Michigan, 1937
  • References

    Malcomson and Higginbotham Wikipedia

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