Walter Burley Griffin (Walter Burley Griffin)

Walter Burley Griffin

Architect. Walter Burley Griffin was an American architect and landscape architect who was influenced by the Chicago-based Prairie School.  He achieved his greatest professional and public fame and recognition for his role in designing Australia’s capital city, Canberra.  In 1911, the Australian government announced an international competition to design the new capital city, and on May 12, 1912, Griffin’s design was selected as winner from 137 entries.  Graduating from the University of Illinois in 1899 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, Griffin began his career working in the Prairie School style in Illinois.  He began working in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park Studio in 1901.  He left Wright’s studio and started his own practice in 1906.  Several houses designed by Griffin were built in the Chicago neighborhood known as Beverly-Morgan Park, on a street now known as Walter Burleigh Griffin Place.  Griffin married Marion Lucy Mahony, another former employee of Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1911.  Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony worked closely together both before and after their marriage.  They designed Rock Crest Rock Glen in Mason City, Iowa, which is still the largest collection of Prairie Style homes surrounding a natural setting.   After winning the competition to design Canberra, Australia, Griffin was invited and went to Australia to inspect the site in 1913.  The Australian Government appointed him as the Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction, where he was involved with the Canberra design project until December 1920.  During the 1920s and 1930s, the Griffins were involved in several other architectural and development projects in Australia.  In 1935, he was commissioned to design the University of Lucknow library in Lucknow, India.  He died at King George’s Hospital in Lucknow in 1937.  Walter Burley Griffin also is credited with being the first architect to use reinforced concrete, originating the carport, and developing the L-shaped floor plan. (bio by: Steven Tynan)  Family links:  Parents:  George Walter Griffin (1857 – 1939)  Estelle Burley Griffin (1852 – 1927)  Spouse:  Marion Lucy Mahony (1871 – 1961)


  • November, 24, 1876
  • USA


  • February, 02, 1937
  • India


  • Christian Cemetery
  • India

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