William Crabtree


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English architect. His reputation rests mainly on his Peter Jones Department Store, Sloane Square, London (1932–7), designed for Spedan Lewis (1885–1963—founder of the John Lewis Partnership) in collaboration with Slater & Moberly, with C. H. Reilly (Crabtree's former mentor at Liverpool University) as consultant. It was one of the first C20 uses of the glass curtain-wall in England, was influenced by the work of Mendelsohn (Schocken depart-ment-stores in Chemnitz and Stuttgart), and is one of the most distinguished Modern Movement buildings in Britain. He subsequently worked with Abercrombie on the reconstruction of Plymouth and Southampton after the 1939–45 war, and designed several buildings in Basildon and Harlow New Towns, Essex, and elsewhere, but never again was he to build anything to match in quality the Peter Jones store.

Architectural Review, lxxxv (June 1939), 291–8; and clxxxvii/1115 (Jan. 1990), 75–9

Subjects: Architecture.

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