Balston Cooper Kenway

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Balston Kenway
Personal information
Name Balston Cooper Kenway
Nationality United States
Born Neath, Wales (United Kingdom)
Died Seattle, Washington,
Work
Practice name Kenway and Wirth
Significant buildings Grove Street Flats, Eastman Flats (Minneapolis), William A Robinson House (Auburn, ME)
Significant projects St Mary's Cathedral, Winnipeg; St Boniface College, St Boniface, Canada


Balston and his brother, Herbert Phipps Kenway were both distinguished architects who were born in Wales to an English Quaker family. Quakers in England at the time were known as non-conformists and persecuted. It is likely that their religion was the cause of the move to Wales.

While it is known that Herbert studied in Manchester, England, little is known about Balston's education. Both immigrated to the United States and for a while, both practiced together. The William A Robinson House [[1]], a National Register Property in Auburn, Maine, is one of their joint works.

Herbert went on to Boston, Massachusetts where he practiced with Francis Allen, an MIT trained architect, until Herbert's early death in 1890. The firm was responsible for many distinguished buildings including Twin Oaks [[2]], a National Register property in Washington, DC built for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, father-in-law of Alexander Graham Bell.

Balston came to Minneapolis around 1876 and lived on Nicollet Island, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He worked on several commercial buildings; but he is best known for the series of limestone row houses known as the Eastman Flats that he built for W. W. Eastman on Nicollet Island. Grove Street Flats is the only surviving example of the stunning buildings that once crossed the Island at Eastman Avenue.

Shortly after work was begun on the Eastman Flats with his new partner George Wirth, Balston left for Winnipeg. While in Winnipeg he worked on several substantial buildings including St. Mary's Cathedral [3] which still survives.

After the death of his wife, he went to Vancouver and then practiced in Tacoma and Seattle, Washington.

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